Paramaribo: President Draupadi Murmu has announced that India has decided to enhance the eligibility criteria for ‘Overseas Citizen of India’ (OCI) cards from the fourth generation to the sixth generation of original Indian immigrants in Suriname, marking a milestone in the 150-year-old bilateral relationship. shows their importance. Draupadi Murmu made the announcement while addressing a function at Independence Square here on Monday. Earlier, along with her Suriname counterpart Chandrika Prasad Santokhi, she witnessed a cultural event to mark 150 years of the arrival of Indians in Suriname. The facility of OCI card has been provided to the Indian people who are settled abroad and have taken citizenship there.
It is noteworthy that on June 5, 1873, the first ship ‘Lalla Rukh’ reached Paramaribo, the capital of Suriname, carrying 452 Indian laborers. Most of these laborers were residents of eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Draupadi Murmu said, ‘Today, on this historic occasion, I am very happy to announce on this platform that my government has approved to increase the eligibility criteria for OCI card from 4th generation to 6th generation He said that the OCI card can be seen as an important link in their 150-year-old relationship with India. He urged the overseas Indians to continue their efforts to maintain their ties with India.
Earlier, the OCI facility was only for up to four generations of the original ancestors of the community who arrived in Suriname from India. As a result, many young members of the community belonging to the fifth and subsequent generations were deprived of this benefit. Draupadi Murmu said, ‘We have all gathered here today to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Indians in Suriname, an important milestone in the history of Suriname. On this occasion, I pay tribute to my forefathers and salute those who helped build this nation.” He said that as a multicultural society and a land of opportunities, Suriname has the opportunity to welcome all the different communities that have welcomed all who came and settled here.
He said that during these years, the diverse community evolved into one family and one country. He also commended the people of Suriname for their dedication and commitment to unity and inclusiveness. President Draupadi Murmu said she was happy to note that despite vast geographical distances, different time zones and cultural diversity, the Indian diaspora has always remained connected to its roots. He said that India is known for its diversity and there are many similarities between the two countries. He said, “People of both countries can mix very easily in each other’s society. I feel at home.” He said that over the past 150 years, the Indian community has not only become an integral part of the society in Suriname, but also an important pillar of the deep partnership between India and Suriname. Is.
The President said that at a time when Suriname is celebrating the heritage of its ancestors and its ties with India, India stands with Suriname in solidarity and reverence. He noted that both Suriname and India have made efforts to rebuild their economies and social systems after long periods of colonial rule. He said that this experience has created a sense of solidarity between the two countries. Draupadi Murmu said that India-Suriname bilateral relations are based on shared aspirations for development.
He said, ‘I hope that the Indian community will continue to strengthen this relationship in the days to come and each one of you will continue to act as a bridge between India and Suriname, connecting the two countries. On this occasion, I invite all of you to come to India, see India’s development journey and participate in it. Earlier on Monday, the President paid tribute to Baba and Mai Memorial. The Baba and Mai Monument is a symbolic representation of the first Indian man and woman to set foot in Suriname.
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