PIOs in Guadeloupe greatly enthused by Indian Ambassador’s visit

We hope that now finally we will get the OCI cards: GOPIO Guadeloupe President



December 24, 2023

/ By / Paris

PIOs in Guadeloupe greatly enthused by Indian Ambassador’s visit

Indian Ambassador to France Jawed Ashraf along with members of Indian diaspora in Guadeloupe

The large Indian diaspora community in Guadeloupe, a French territory in the Caribbean, has long been demanding recognition by the Indian government as Persons of Indian Origin and seeking deliverance of Overseas Citizens of India cards. After a visit by the Indian Ambassador earlier this week, the community feels enthused that finally their decades-long demand may be met.

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The Indian diaspora community in the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe is very optimistic and says that the Indian government seems to be finally moving to accept their demand for recognition as Persons of Indian Origin, say community leaders after a visit earlier this week to the island by the Ambassador of India to France.

Guadeloupe is home to over 120,000 persons of Indian origin whose anscestors were brought over 180 years earlier by the French government to work on the sugarcane plantations, after slavery was abolished. Ambassador Jawed Ashraf made a hectic two-day trip to the island where he met with a large number of people, both officials of the local administration as well as the Indian community and representatives of various associations representing the diaspora.

One of the biggest demands of the Indian community is the Caribbean island has been that the government of India recognise them as Persons of Indian Origin and grant them the OCI cards, which have been handed out to millions of other members of Indian diaspora around the world.

Thus, the news that Ashraf visited the archives of Guadeloupe to see the trace of Indian community since their arrival here was warmly received by the community leaders who expressed hope that finally their demands would be met.

“As President of GOPIO Guadeloupe, I have been advocating for this recognition for almost 15 years and we have tried to sensitise the Indian government on various occasions about the necessity to see our peculiar situation as most of the records have been lost during natural calamities like floods and volcanic eruptions,’’ Michel Narayaninssamy, President of GOPIO Guadeloupe, tells Media India Group.

“The Ambassador concluded his visit by emphasising the warm welcome he received and said that he was committed to moving the OCI file forward and that India will not forget us,’’ adds Narayaninssamy, who led the diaspora participation in one of the key engagements of the Indian Ambassador, paying homage to the Indian migrants at the Memorial of Indian Indentured Workers that has been erected by GOPIO Guadeloupe at Capesterre Bell-Eau in South-Western Guadeloupe.


Ambassador Jawed Ashraf pays homage to Indian indentured workers

Ambassador Jawed Ashraf pays homage to Indian indentured workers at memorial at Capesterre Belle-Eau in Guadeloupe

According to Narayaninssamy, under the rays of a setting sun, Ashraf was welcomed at the memorial by the Gopio Guadeloupe. Located at the northern entrance to the town of Capesterre Belle-Eau, once the economic heart of Guadeloupe, the 13 m high memorial, with its shapes and colors, stands out and reminds everyone of India, with the Lotus flower at centre.

The Ambassador laid wreaths at the monument, in the honour of the indentured workers in the presence of  the Mayor of Capesterre Belle-Eau, and the Representative of the Regional Council.

In his speech, Mayor Jean Philippe Courtois spoke of the special interest that this visit had for Guadeloupe and its Indian community, while Narayaninssamy highlighted various actions that GOPIO Guadeloupe had initiated and would undertake in future to promote cultural, economic and social exchanges between the Indian diaspora in Guadeloupe and various parts of India.

He reminded the Ambassador that on all the islands of the Lesser Antilles there was a large Indian community which lived and actively participated in the development of their host countries and that India, which had become a rising power, had to contribute to the development of these islands and particularly in Guadeloupe through investment.

In his own post on X, formerly Twitter, Ashraf said that he had managed 20 meetings and public events in 48 hours during his visit to Guadeloupe.

He said that at the Indian Cultural Centre at Le Moule in Guadeloupe paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi and interacted with Indian associations. He also had a meeting with Guadeloupe’s Chamber of Commerce and the world ranking University of Antilles, where bith sides expressed keen interest in economic, scientific, educational and research collaboration.



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