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Sushma Swaraj chairs 7th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Panel documenting history of migration, achievements of Diaspora in Girmitiya countries

Dr. V.K. Singh opened the exhibition on documenting history of migration of Diaspora in Girmitiya countries

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Newly arrived Indian labourers in Trinidad. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
  • The External Affairs Minister chaired the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Panel Discussion which documented the history of migration and achievements of Diaspora in Girmitiya countries
  • Girmitiyas’ is  the name given to generations of all those Indians, who were driven out of their motherland to serve as indentured labourers in the  British colonies
  • The history of migration and the tale of rising up to success from the pitiful conditions in the alien lands is an inspiring chapter of history that needs to be remembered

NEW DELHI, August 24, 2016: The External Affairs Minister chaired the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Panel Discussion VII in New Delhi on August 22, which documented the history of migration and achievements of Diaspora in Girmitiya countries. PBD is a conclave of the Indian Diaspora organised by the Ministry Of External Affairs. Minister of State for External Affairs, Dr V.K. Singh had opened the exhibition on documenting the history of migration of Diaspora in Girmitiya countries.

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‘Girmitiyas’ is the name given to generations of all those Indians, who were driven out of their motherland to serve as indentured labourers in the then British colonies of  Fiji, Mauritius, Guyana, Suriname, the Caribbean Islands and many other colonies. The word ‘Girmit’ is a mispronunciation of the word ‘agreement’. But in this case, it refers to the agreement between the British and the Indian labourers that turned out to be a trap which resulted in an endless cycle of torture and suffering. To fight for their cause, Mahatma Gandhi coined the word ‘Girmitia’ and called himself ‘Pehla Girmitia’ or the first Girmitia.

Minister of State for External Affairs Dr. V.K. Singh opens exhibition in New Delhi on documenting history of migration of diaspora in girmitiya countries Image Source: mea.gov.in
Minister of State for External Affairs Dr V.K. Singh opens exhibition in New Delhi on documenting history of migration of diaspora in Girmitiya countries Image Source: mea.gov.in

The indentured labours had to live a life full of complete hardships. The food was rationed and they had to face imprisonment and sometimes even corporal punishment if they failed in the tasks that were allotted to them. When the so-called agreement expired, they were free to leave but at their own expense. As a result, many stayed back, slowly assimilating themselves into the local community and becoming part of the alien lands. The years of hard work in the barren lands and years of enduring the pain and poverty also produced results as they were blessed with prosperity and abundance.

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From whatever left, these people had tried to set up small businesses in the town. Those who fought against all the odds paved the path of relief for their descendants. Over time, some of them became the heads of the governments in those countries, representing the nation and becoming the symbols of triumph over all predicaments.

The history of migration and the tale of rising up to success from the precarious conditions in the alien lands is an inspiring chapter of history that needs to be remembered.

– prepared by Ajay Krishna of NewsGram. Twitter: @ajkrish14

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Dalai Lama says that India and China have great potential

The spiritual leader feels that both the countries are doing compassionate works

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Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai says that India and China can work together. VOA

New Delhi, Nov 19

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Sunday said India and China have “great potential” and they could work together at a “practical level”.

“I think, a great potential… India and China combined are doing more compassionate work… At a practical level also. Imagine two billion people working together,” he told reporters here after inaugurating Smile Foundation’s initiative, The World of Children.

The spiritual leader, who has lived in India in self-imposed exile since 1959, said neither country had the “ability to destroy the other”.

“Whether you like it or not, you have to live side by side,” he said.

Underlining the ancient spiritual connection between the two countries, he said Chinese Buddhist Hsuan Tsang visited Nalanda (now in Bihar) and brought Nalanda Buddhist traditions to China.

“All thinkers of Nalanda are Indian. So Nalanda’s tradition is India’s tradition,” he said.

The Nalanda traditions had turned Tibetans, who were warriors, into more compassionate, peaceful and non-violent nation, he said.

“So sometimes in Delhi, teasing my Indian friend, (I say) if Tibet still remained in the previous way of life, like Mongols, Chinese invasion may not have taken place,” the Dalai Lama said in a lighter vein.

He said nobody in the world wanted violence but it was happening “because our minds are dominated by destructive emotions due to short-sightedness”.

“Nobody wants problems. Yet, many problems are our own creation.”

The Dalai Lama said the existing modern education was oriented to material values. India can take lead in improving the education system by combining modern education with ancient knowledge, he said. (IANS)

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Manushi Chhillar from India Wins the Miss World 2017 Title

India's Manushi Chillar won the coveted Miss World 2017 pageant here, 16 years after Priyanka Chopra won the title in 2000.

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Manushi Chhillar has been crowned as Miss World 2017. Instagram #ManushiChhillar

China, November 19: India’s Manushi Chhillar won the coveted Miss World 2017 pageant, 16 years after Priyanka Chopra won the title in 2000.

Chhillar competed against 108 contestants from various countries at a glittering event held at Sanya City Arena here.

Miss World 2016 winner Puerto Rico’s Stephanie Del Valle gave away the coveted crown to the winner.

Chhillar, who is from Haryana, had earlier this year won the Femina Miss India 2017.

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Anti Ageing was the official skin care expert for Manushi Chhillar at the Miss World 2017 pageant. Instagram #ManushiChhillar

India, England, France, Kenya and Mexico grabbed the top five spots at the peagant.

Manushi, born to doctor parents, studied in St. Thomas School in New Delhi and Bhagat Phool Singh Government Medical College for Women in Sonepat.

Her entire family including brother and sister were present and they looked excited watching Manushi grabbing top five spot.

As many as 108 beauty queens from different parts of the world participated in the prestigious pageant. (IANS)

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India-Pakistan Ties: India Grants Medical Visa to another Pakistani National

The action was termed "highly regrettable" by Islamabad, which said that asking for such a letter violated diplomatic norms and such a requirement had not been prescribed for any other country.

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Sushma swaraj addressing a press conference. Wikimedia

New Delhi, November 10, 2017 : India on Friday issued a medical visa to another Pakistani national following a promise made by the Ministry of External Affairs on Independence Day.

“Amna – We have approved medical visa for your father Mr Shamim Ahmed,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted in response to a request from one Amna Shamim through the Twitter handle of Karachi’s Muhammad Talha.

Shamim also posted a reference letter dated October 9 from a doctor in Sri Ganga Ram Hospital who stated that the patient was being considered for a liver transplant.

On Independence Day, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had announced that India would provide medical visas to all bonafide Pakistani patients.

As ties between the two countries soured over various issues, the ministry had announced in May that only a letter of recommendation by then Pakistan Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz would enable a Pakistani national to get a medical visa for India.

The action was termed “highly regrettable” by Islamabad, which said that asking for such a letter violated diplomatic norms and such a requirement had not been prescribed for any other country.

However, a patient from Pakistan-administered Kashmir, seeking treatment in New Delhi for liver tumour, was given a visa on July 18.

Sushma Swaraj then said that he needed no recommendation from the Pakistani government for a medical visa because the territory “is an integral part of India”.

Since August 15, however, Pakistani nationals seeking medical treatment have not been denied visas. (IANS)