MEMORANDUM 1

TO: Hon’ble Mr. M.M. Joshi

Union Minister for Human Resource Development,

Science & Technology and Ocean Development

Government of India

FROM: Global Organization of the People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) - 69, Boulevard Louis Mettewie, 1080 Brussels, Belgium

DATE: 11 November, 2002

 

SUBJECT: Request to allow Non-Resident Indians to Travel on Chartered Flights to India

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

In order to alleviate the travel difficulties and to encourage Non-Resident Indians (NRI) to visit India more often it is necessary that NRI be allowed to travel by chartered flights on holidays.

DIFFICULTIES FACED

1. During the holiday seasons it is difficult to obtain reservations to destinations in India at reasonable and affordable prices by the NRI population. This discourages frequent travel to their homeland.

2. Families where the husband or wife have taken their host countries Nationality are not able to travel by chartered flights and take advantage of cheaper fares. This is one of the factors, though minor, that Indian nationals are eager to throw away their nationality.

3. Being an NRI, or retaining one’s nationality comes today at a price, while the Indian government is showering benefits at the PIO, those who gave up their Indian passports, to woo them to India, eg.: the PIO card, even a separate counter at the New Delhi Airport Immigration, while those who hold Indian passports end up in very long queues.

4. Indian Government by these policies is acknowledging the inferiority of the Indian Passport and it strikes deeply at the heart of our pride in our nation.

5. Immigration officers do not respect the special counters designated for processing India Passport holders unlike in other countries, where Foreign Nationals are never processed through counters designated for their citizens.

6. Air India operations from Europe is at best very limited.

THE REQUEST

As part of restoring the equality of NRI’s and PIO with respect of privileges granted by the Government of India, we request the following:

1. The Government of India to grant permission to NRI’s for travel to India by chartered flights.

2. The Government to convert the PIO counter to a common to PIO/NRI counter.

3. Immigration officers to strictly respect the designation of “Indian Passport” counters while processing incoming passengers.

4. Brussels to be included in the Air India network.

MEMORANDUM 2

TO: Hon’ble Mr. M.M. Joshi

Union Minister for Human Resource Development,

Science & Technology and Ocean Development

Government of India

FROM: Global Organization of the People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) - 69, Boulevard Louis Mettewie,1080 Brussels, Belgium

DATE: 11 November, 2002

 

SUBJECT: Protection of Indian Migrant workers in the Middle East Region

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Indian labour force in the Middle East Region continues to be exploited and ill-treated while Government of India and other governments of countries that supply labour ignore the Human Rights issues of the region. This is to request governmental action to protect Indian Human Resources that are being exploited by Middle East Nations.

THE ISSUES

1. Indian workers in the region do not receive equal pay for the same work. The Middle East countries practice discrimination between workers of different countries. For example a Western National working as a doctor or a technician is paid more than his Indian, Srilankan or Philippino counterpart.

2. They do not have adequate social insurance or guarantees while they work there.

3. Often passports are taken away by the employers, so that they can exploit without fear of them fleeing.

4. An Indian national was recently beheaded in the Region. Honourable Minister, would that have been the fate of the victim, if he were an US citizen? Our brethren have to be protected from such barbaric acts.

THE REQUEST

1. It is requested that the Government of India stop ignoring the problem and work along with the governments that supply labour to improve the labour standards and deal sternly with the governments of the Middle East.

2. The Government of India is requested to take all necessary measures to ensure that our citizens are treated humanely under all circumstances.

3. The Government of India is also requested to assume its role as an important consumer of Oil and supplier of Labour and demand equal and fair treatment of Indians and Indian interests in the region.

4. Indian labour in the Middle East have contributed to the development of the region’s economy and the Government of India should ensure that their contribution is not undermined.