Jalandhar, December 1
After a gap of nearly eight years, the NRIs of Punjab can expect an open discussion with the government officials and the ministry in the upcoming five sets of ‘NRI Punjabiyan Nal Milni’. The first segment of the event is slated on December 16 for the NRIs from across Doaba in Jalandhar.
As NRIs from the four districts — Jalandhar, Nawanshahr, Hoshiarpur and Kapurthala — are expected to converge here, the administration has planned the meeting at Red Cross Bhawan here.
Sharing the details after a meeting of the NRI representatives and officials with NRI Affairs Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal yesterday, Jalandhar Divisional Commissioner Gurpreet Sapra said: “It will be a walk-in milni and be on a somewhat different format than that held like a state-level sammelan in the previous years. The NRIs will register themselves and get to talk directly with the minister and officials on the problems concerning them. Other than the DCs and SSPs of the four districts, Principal Secretary (NRI Affairs) Balamurugan, ADGP (NRI Wing) Praveen Kumar Sinha and other senior officials of NRI Affairs department will be present to listen to them.”
The NRI Sabha members, too, have been hopeful that their issues concerning the functioning of the body and its elections could be discussed on the forum. Former president of the sabha, Jasvir Singh Gill, said: “I am expecting at least 200 NRIs from Jalandhar to be present at the milni. We have more than 200 fresh complaints by the NRIs and they are all confirming their presence at the event so that their issues could get a better redressal in front of the officials concerned.”
Executive Director of North American Punjabi Association (NAPA) Satnam Singh Chahal said at the milni, he would press for starting of direct flights from San Francisco to Amritsar. He said he would discuss ways and means for the relief of Punjabi youths who have become victims of the travel agent mafia and have landed in the US, Canada and Europe.
“Laws were passed in the Vidhan Sabha in 2010 and 2012 to prevent illegal human trafficking, but even with creation of such laws, no meaningful effort could be made to stop the trafficking and still this process is continuing. Many Punjabi youths are still locked up in the prisons of the US as undocumented immigrants,” he said.
Observing the response in Jalandhar, four more sets of NRI milnis will be held in Mohali, Ludhiana, Moga and Amritsar on December 19, 23, 26 and 30, respectively.
Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal has already assured the NRIs that their complaints would be resolved promptly as well as on-the-spot during these meetings.
The minister had said PCS-level officers will be deputed as nodal officers, who will resolve the issues and complaints of the concerned with the support of the district administration.
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