Repatriated 4500 Indians from Sydney, says India's consul general in Sydney

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi Published: Aug 15, 2020, 07:18 PM(IST)

India's consul general to Australia Manish Gupta.  Photograph:( WION )

Story highlights

Diaspora has an important role in connecting the two countries.

India repatriated 4500 Indians from Sydney while overall from Australia, 11,000 Indian nationals were brought back. Speaking to WION's Diplomatic Correspondent Sidhant Sibal from Sydney, India's consul general Manish Gupta said,"Diaspora has an important role in connecting the two countries and during the last decade itself, diaspora number has doubled.

Ties between India and Australia have grown and earlier this year both Indian PM Modi and his Australian counterpart had a virtual summit. 

WION: How do see the ties, between India and Australia?

Manish Gupta: India, Australia relationship is bound for a major rebound. Very recently leaders of both countries had a virtual summit. Commerce, culture, people to people ties, high-level political ties, the relationship encompasses all spheres. In short, as we move forward we will see much stronger engagement between our 2 countries. 

WION: How has been the repatriation mission from Australia? 

Manish Gupta: These are very challenging times, everywhere in the world including here in Australia. Thanks to Vande Bharat mission, we have been able to set up a structured framework for repatriation of stranded Indians during the last 3 months. Happy to says in Sydney alone we were able to repatriate 4500 Indians under Vande Bharat mission and overall in Australia, nearly 11,000 Indian nationals have been repatriated. The process has been going on smoothly and we have been able to reduce the load by a size able amount and with the regularization of Vande Bharat flights, with higher frequency as well as the chartered flights, the situation is much more under control now and there are very few cases left 

WION: The role played by the diaspora in the relationship?

Manish Gupta: Diaspora has an important role in connecting the two countries. During the last decade itself, diaspora number has doubled. Many of them are working in the professional sector, some are in business. We have a highly accomplished and very energetic diaspora. Indian IT sector is well represented here in Sydney and Melbourne. Overall linages are vital to connecting the 2 countries, not only they bring people together but also bring awareness. Govt flagship programmes like make in India and Namami Gange are very well received over here. 

WION: Its Independence day..Australian and Indian artists have come together for collaboration called Sur Sagar...stepping stone to larger people to people ties?

Manish Gupta: The tremendous collaboration and respect for each other between Indians and Australians. Australia is a country that respects diversity, and ties are going strength to strength and current piece of music has been prepared in a record period of time--with artists from Australia and India have come together to release Sur Sagar in a sense, its a celebration of diversity, democratic values and celebration of music and that what brings 2 countries together and that is, in fact, our cultural centre here in Sydney has been doing an amazing job. For the last 5 years since Swami Vivekanand Cultural Center has become operational here, our cultural linkages have further strengthened and not only Yoga and Ayurveda but arts, culture, performing arts has been the focus. Happy to say in New South Wales they can learn Hindi, Punjabi and Tamil and cultural centre plays an important role.

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