Dear AZAD MOOPEN MANDAYAPURATH Ji,
In a few days from now I am going to be in Bengaluru to address the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, where I will interact with several members of the diaspora. It is always special to connect with the Indian diaspora, which has made India very proud at the world stage and spread the values and cultures of India to every part of the world.
The Government of India is doing everything possible to further deepen the outreach with the diaspora. From strengthening processes at our embassies and consulates to facilitating easier travel to India, the Government of India is working to further deepen the bond with our vibrant diaspora. I am sure you have lots to share with me and I am also eager to hear from you! I urge you to write to me on a specially created open forum on the ‘Narendra Modi Mobile App’ in the run up to the 2017 PBD. Your views will surely be very enriching.
My response to the letter:
Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji
It was a pleasant surprise receiving a personal mail from you on the eve of Pravasi Bharathi Din It has been very kind of you to ask me to send suggestions for your kind consideration. This unexpected and most unique way of communication , even with those at grass root level , sets you apart from other leaders. Thank you for this opportunity
We appreciate the visionary leadership you are providing to our great country which is propelling us forward and improving the standard of living of our people. We hope that our nation will be in the center stage of the world economically and politically in the near future. Our great country was the cradle of civilization and capital of the world historically , but lost this glory in between. We have the potential to recapture this in the 21st century under your dynamic leadership.
We have been investing heavily in India in the last 15 years. Aster DM Healthcare runs 10 hospitals including a medical college in 5 South Indian states with nearly 2500 beds employing nearly 10,000 people We are planning to increase this engagement by doing an IPO in the Bombay Stock Exchange , the DRHP for which has been already approved by SEBI. We want to assure you that we shall be with you in the journey to our great country a formidable Ecnomic powerhouse.
The Non Resident Indians are a formidable force to reckon with if properly aligned in nation building . There are great potential to utilize the resources available with them. There is also requirement to look into their pressing requirements.While there are hundreds of opportunities and issues concerning NRIs , I am highlighting couple of them below , which may may please be considered.
1. NRI Bond : The inflow of funds which is a major requirement for infrastructure for our exponential growth can be partially met if we can access the huge funds available with NRIs. The inflow can be increased significantly if the government can come out with an NRI Bond with attractive returns and as a safe investment vehicle. Hope this shall be considered in the next budget.
2. Holistic Health Toursim There is huge potential for increasing Health Tourism traffic to India by developing it as a Holistic Health and Wellness destination. I am happy that this is included as a panel discussion for this restructured PBD. I am a panelist in this and shall be submitting my suggestions to the concerned ministries. The large number of Indian doctors and paramedical staff in USA, Europe and Middle East could be our brand ambassadors to make this a great success increasing the flow of tourists exponentially.
3. NRI In Absentia Voting Right :One important unmet request by the NRIs have been the In-absentia franchise through suitable methods like electronic voting. While the voting right has been provided recently , it is almost useless as most of the NRIs can’t travel to India for voting at time of elections. Many countries allow voting in absentia . May I request you to look into this long pending request and expedite implementation which will help millions of Indians to be part of the great Indian democratic process.
4. Economical Air Travel : Another very important request is to have low cost air travel between India and the GCC countries where nearly 3 million Indian expatriates are settled. The airlines charge humongous amounts , which is exponentially more than what is the per kilometer charge to European or other destination. Both Indian and foreign airlines are fleecing the Indians , especially the large number of poor laborers. Some control on this by proper negotiation and protocols will go a long way in reducing this exploitation.
You have been instrumental in elevating the status of Indians worldwide and improving the image of the country after you came to power. We appreciate this and wish you all the best in this endeavor and promise that we shall be with you in the journey to recapture our lost glory.
Jai Hind !
With Respectful Regards
Dr. Azad Moopen MD