Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Against the backdrop of the ongoing Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (PBD) Convention at Indore, Free Press talked to some ex-NRIs, (who having spent a long time in foreign nations and have settled in the city), to know how they perceive the government’s efforts to promote a closer association of NRIs with India and whether they have any suggestion for bettering NRI-India ties.
More steps needed: Dr Taiyab Khan
A postgraduate in medicine, Dr Taiyab Khan had left India in 1982. He worked for 12 years in Iran and for 20 years in the UAE. In 2016, he returned to Bhopal and has been doing private practice here since then. Dr Taiyab said that using the resources of NRIs for the welfare of the country is a good idea but the government should also do something to ensure that talented people do not leave India in the first place. ‘Today, the situation is much better but we still need to take steps to stop brain drain,’ he said.
Form support network: Amitabh Soni
Amitabh Soni had moved to the UK in 2004, where he worked for the Social Welfare Department of the UK Government. He came back in 2014 and has been working for rural upliftment in villages of Bhopal and neighbouring districts since then. Praising the idea behind celebrating PBD, he suggested that a city-wise database of NRIs hailing from the state should be prepared by the government. ‘Students who go abroad for studies have to face a lot of problems. In such situation, the NRIs from their city or district can form a support network for them,’ he said.
Better late than never: Dr Syed Maqsood Hussain
An MD in medicine, Dr Syed worked as Consultant, Internal Medicine, Ministry of Health, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, from 1983 to 1991. Currently Dr Syed is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Chirayu Medical College. Praising the PBD initiative, the senior doctor says that given the tremendous contribution of NRIs to nation building, PBD celebrations should have begun much earlier. ‘But better late than never,’ he said.
More to be done: Neerav Pradhan
Having studied law in the UK and worked there as a partner in a leading law firm for 17 years, Neerav Pradhan, returned to his hometown Bhopal in 2012. It is an extremely welcome initiative. I know of at least 200 persons like me who have become ‘active citizens’ of India due to the PBD,’ he said adding that steps need to be taken to build a live connect between India and second generation of NRIs, who have been born and brought up abroad.