The Consular Minister at the Indian Embassy in Paris is currently on a tour of the West Indies, and he is working to strengthen ties with the diaspora. For its part, the Indian community in Guadeloupe is demanding easier exchanges, particularly with regard to travel to the country of origin.
The visit of the Consular Minister of the Indian Embassy in Paris to Guadeloupe is drawing to a close. Shrila Datta Kumar arrived in the archipelago on Sunday 8 May 2022, accompanied by her first secretary, Suchita Chatterjee.
Both came to meet the local Indian community. They were invited by world union leaders, on Monday morning, at the Guadeloupe Center for Indian Culture, in the Petit Canal.
As a representative of an Indian cultural association, it was important for me to meet the Minister and ask her some questions, particularly on the question of recognition of people of Indian origin from Guadeloupe, in order to find a little connection with India.Raïssa Nagapin, President of the “Om Shanti” Association
The Indian community in Guadeloupe also wanted to prove its connection to the country of origin:
The Secretary realized that there was a development happening in Guadeloupe in terms of Indian culture and she knows this.Eliezer Sicharn, President of Friends of India
Minister of the Embassy of India in Paris, Shrila Datta Kumar, visits Guadeloupe – 09/05/2022.
This moment was also an opportunity to discuss and address issues of interest to Guadeloupe from India, starting with the conditions for obtaining an OCI (Overseas Citizens of India) visa card, formerly known as PIO (People of Indian Origin).
Raïssa Nagapin, President of the “Om Shanti” Association
Overseas Indian nationals can get an OCI for India document, valid for 10 years or until passport expiry. Multiple entry visa allows its holder to travel to India without restrictions, in terms of number of trips and duration.
However, the time required to obtain this card is long and the procedure is complicated.
In the past, with PIO, applicants had to prove that they belonged to the Indian community over 8 generations. This status has now been eased, with the introduction of OCI, but you still have to prove that you have Indian ancestry over 4 generations.
But this type of information is difficult to obtain from local administrations or departmental archives.
Shrila Datta Kumar is not authorized to speak in the press.
But she was very attentive to the complaints of her interlocutors, aware of the problems that existed between France and India.
According to Rajaram Munswami, President of GOPIO France and Secretary General of GOPIO International (Global Organization of People of Indian Origin), the time is right to raise this kind of issue:
I think India is looking for its children now. Since Narendra Modi came to power, in the government, we have tried to reach out to the Indian community across the world. It is within these steps that the time is right to associate this Indian enthusiasm with her children and vice versa. It will happen naturally.Rajaram Monswami, President of GOPIO France and General Secretary of GOPIO International
Rajaram Monswami, President of GOPIO France and General Secretary of GOPIO International
La ministre consulaire, dont le titre ne correspond pas à celui tel qu’on l’entend en France, a donc pris acte des demandes et a annoncé son intention de les faire remonter à sa hiérarchie, à savoir à l’ambassadeur d’Inde In Paris.
In addition, an official meeting was organized in the afternoon between Shrila Datta Kumar and Regional MP Alexander Rochat.
Another highlight of her weekend program: The Consular Secretary of the Indian Embassy in Paris, on the sister island, celebrated the arrival of the first Indians in Martinique, which dates back to May 6, 1853.