Indian Government’s Ministry of External Affairs, as a part of having meaning interaction and outreach with the Indian diaspora, has been organising a day-long Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas panel sessions on topical issues which connect the diaspora to India.

Jeet Suchdev of Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust in Auckland was invited to contribute at the panel discussion held in New Delhi earlier in April which is the fourth in the series since the since the PBD in January last year.

The theme of the panel discussion this time was ‘Indian Organisations Working for Distressed Indians Abroad’.

Jeet Suchdev, who has dedicated almost three decades in service to the community in New Zealand presented his views on how to connect more with the diaspora overseas and lend them a helping hand when in distress.

In a conversation with The Indian Weekender, Jeet Suchdev shared his experience being a part of the conference and acknowledged the efforts of the Indian government and the increased dialogue over the years in reaching out to its expatriates.

Mr Suchdev also acknowledged and applauded the promptness, readiness and efforts of the Indian High Commission office in Wellington and Consulate office in Auckland in coming forward to help the distressed individuals both financially and in completing the paper formalities.

Citing the very recent incident of an Indian man drowning at a beach in Napier and the sudden death of an Indian man in Auckland late last year, the Indian High Commission along with the extended community came forward to help the distressed family of the affected and help speed up the body repatriation procedure.

Jeet Suchdev at the conference added that before the Indian nationals gear up to travel or move abroad, they should be guided on how to remain safe in the country, mishaps like driving accidents and drowning are most concerning for the community and the government of India. He also appealed to the government to look after educational agents, get them licensed and monitor their activities at regular intervals.

With the rise in Indian population in the country, the issues and concerns are too on a upsurge and are different every time. Issues like domestic violence, family violence, are also on the rising and it needs to be addressed at a grassroots level.

Mr Suchdev also encouraged the community to associate themselves with any community organisation which whom they can connect emotionally and provide the community with whatever resources they can, be it financially, their time, a helping hand or their intellectual support.

He appealed the community to start a joint community fund to be called Indian Community Relief Fund, that the community members can contribute into along with community organisations so that such funds can be of great use to the distressed individual or families at unforeseen events.