10 October 2014 : Meeting with the Deputy Ambassador of India on issues related to Indians in France

Sourav Choudhury, our General Secretary, met with the Deputy Amabassador of India Mr. Indra Mani PANDEY for issues related to the conditions of the Indians in France. Mr. Pandey was assisted by Mrs. Apoorva SRIVASTAVA, counsellor for Education and Information. Here are the excerpts of that rendez-vous.

[SC] : Indian students who are coming here are having a lot of problems, often they are tricked into by false promises by some schools in France, and there are complains about Campus France as well, that they are not giving the right picture to the Indian students in India while promoting France.
[IMP] : If there are complains about Campus france, students can send us email stating that. Once we get a 3 / 4 complains, we can act on that. We an ask Campus France based on those emails, but we should have something with us, something more than spoken words, to work on that. For the schools who are giving false information to students, we can also work on that once we have written information on that.

[SC] : There are a lot of complains against Skema
[AS] : Yes we know this, and we are working on this.

[SC] : We are working on to start an Indian cricket team in France, which is lacking. This team later on can play against other small teams from Pakistan or England etc. Can we get help from BCCI on this, such as getting kits, etc.
[IMP] : Yes its a good idea, you guys can get in touch with France Cricket, probably a city based team is needed to get yourself registered with them. Once done BCCI can be contacted, though I am not sure the kind of help they can offer. They can nonetheless be contacted.

[SC] : What we can do to promote Hindi. I have heard that Indians coming at the embassy are discouraged to speak in Hindi. What can we do to promote Hindi conversation at the embassy, and secondly, what we can do to promote Hindi in France ?
[IMP] : Yes we are trying to make sure that the new people getting job at the reception speaks Hindi. Till now we have given importance to have Tamil speaking employees given the demographic profiles of Indians here. We are nevertheless thinking towards taking people who speaks Hindi. For spreading Hindi in France, Indian assocations can come forward and ask for help, and we can try to help with Hindi materials as we can.
[SC] : I got a feeling here that they want to know who is that person against whom we have a complain. That means, if we happen to come across someone who is declining to speak in Hindi, we can complain against that person.

[SC] : Hinduism is still considered as a sect in France and not yet regarded as a religion. We are working on to give Hinduism its deserved value in France, what’s your perception on this ?
[IMP] : I am aware of this issue, the problem is that Hindus are not united here and there is no single body to represent Hinduism.
[AS] : The Ramakrishna Mission is working on this issue as well. May be we can get in touch with them and do something together ?

[SC] : We have a cultural center in Paris which is closed since many years. When can we start using that ?
[IMP] : The building is under construction. The process to work on that has started. Once the renovation work is done, we can start using that.

[SC] : We are planning to invite Shree Vijay Jolly Ji in early 2015 where he can present our PMs “Make in India” concept to French industries. Can we plan something together at that time ?
[IMP] : Yes we can work on that together. The embassy has the same aim, and we can surely plan something together on this.