“PM’s interactions have increased diaspora confidence”

Dr D.N. Mulay who has overseen the preparations of the 15th PravasiBharatiya Divas Convention in Varanasi spoke to India Empire Magazine’s Editor and Publisher SayantanChakravarty on a range of issues concerning overseas Indians. This is the second PBD in a row under his charge as Secretary in the MEA ...

Thanks to the Foreign Minister, Indians in distress in various parts of the world have found quick attention and relief. Your views…

Absolutely, now we say that help is just a tweet away. For the most vulnerable segments, i.e. women and workers, we’ve taken special measures. Besides there are two slogans adopted that aptly describe our engagement with the diaspora—pardeshmeinnaukripaao, suarkshitjaao, prateekshitjaao (when you go abroad, go trained, go safe). We have created an ecosystem to support this slogan by interacting with the state Governments, by creating training facilities, by initiating awareness campaigns, and by empowering our missions. The second slogan pertains to the part when the workers have reached the host countries. Then our slogan is pardeshmeinaapka dost Bharatiyadootavaas (Indian embassy/consulate is a home away from home). What it also means is that embassies are no more the places which were aloof towards overseas Indians. Now they are at the centre of our attention. During natural calamities of any kind, in case of accident, death or any kind of exploitation, the Indian embassy’s presence is felt in every corner of the world. We have an institutional framework like Community Welfare Fund which provides help to distressed overseas Indians. We have the Madad portal which covers all grievances. We have e-migrate for overseas Indian workers. All these institutional mechanisms have combined to create avery powerful machinery that looks after the welfare, protection and security of overseas Indians, which I’d say is unprecedented.

In recent years we’ve helped evacuate over 90,000 Indians from overseas. Our Community Welfare Fund has helped more than 130,000 people by way of providing food, shelter, medical assistance, repatriation of mortal remains, initiating legal assistance to bring relief to women and prisoners in foreign jails in particular. We’ve adopted a holistic approach.