Goa plans yearly overseas conference of expats

August 30th, 2008 - 1:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Aug 30 (IANS) Goa Commissioner for NRI Affairs Eduardo Faleiro has announced plans to hold a yearly global convention of Goans in different countries that are home to significant Goan expat populations.This way, he said, it would allow the participation of those not able to come to Goa for expat meetings and also provide for greater involvement of expatriates.

He made this statement after returning from Toronto, Canada, where a convention of Goans was held, following one in Lisbon, Portugal, the previous year.

“On the sidelines of the convention, I discussed with the Goan organisations there modalities for redressal of grievances of non-resident Goans,” Faleiro said in a statement here.

Goan organisations are to nominate one representative based in Goa for each country with substantial Goan populations, who would submit expat grievances to the local NRI office.

“Our office will then forward the complaints to the concerned departments and expect redressal within a month,” Faleiro promised.

“When this is not possible we will issue a status report every month to the concerned individual, indicating the progress in the settlement of his grievance until the matter is finally resolved,” he added.

He spoke of plans to “unite” Goan organisations, both within Goa and overseas, under “one global network based in Goa”.

Due to the peculiarities of Portuguese rule here - lots of education opportunities but few jobs - Goans have been migrating far and wide for many decades now.

Faleiro, a former union minister in the 1980s and 1990s, said a global Goans office would be set up in Panaji by next December.

Faleiro said he met the Canadian minister for small business and consumer affairs Harinder Takkar, of Indian origin.

“Mr. Takkar felt that NRIs who have distinguished themselves particularly in the technological and economic fields should be co opted as members of boards and corporations in India so that their expertise would benefit the country and the different states of India,” Faleiro added.

He said this suggestion deserved “sympathetic consideration” and would not burden the local exchequer as only those who come regularly to India on their own cost would be nominated.

Goa has meanwhile signed a contract with the Centre for Development Studies (CDS) of Kerala for conducting a Goa Migration Monitoring Study.

“The centre is the foremost agency in India on migration studies. The purpose of the study is to collect data on migration from Goa and analyse its impact on the social and economic situation of our state,” Faleiro said.

It will report on the demography of Goa, migration in historical overview, internal migration, population characteristics, international migration estimates, causes and costs of migration, estimates of remittances and their utilisation.

This study will also look at the impact of migration on education and health, consumption and investment behaviour in Goa, migration and women, migration and the elderly, and rehabilitation of returned expats.

This study will focus on regions where Goans migrated - Mumbai and Karachi, East Africa, Portugal, Britain, Myanmar, Macau, Middle East, USA and Canada. This section is being prepared by the Xavier Centre of Historical Studies.

Faleiro announced the CDS has selected 6,000 households across the state on random sampling basis for survey and interviewing.

Some 4,000 households have already been surveyed, and 2,000 more will be completed this month. Preliminary and final reports are expected by October and November 2008.

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