National Indian Students Union UK President Sanam Arora addressed the Mini Pravasi Bharatiya Divas held in London.
Miss Arora participated in the session on Issues concerning Indian diaspora in the UK. She spoke about the challenges faced by the Indian youth population in the UK, focusing on faced by both homegrown youth and those from India. She reveal the challenges facing the Indian student population in the UK given the recent immigration regulatory changes and the emotional and personal strain that they undergo.
A theme of the conference was the need of increased youth engagement to drive the Indo UK relationship forward and was focused upon by speakers such as Neena Gill, Baroness Verma and Priti Patel. NISU UK made sure they were heard at every point, from speaking up in conferences to directly engaging with leading delegates.
Miss Arora used her speech to pose the question of responsibility to the audience of business leaders, politicians, diplomats and the youth themselves – ‘Who is responsible for the plight of these students?’ A question and topic well asked and well received, Arora’s comments regarding students placed in legislative limbo upon sudden closures of colleges, mid-cycle policy changes and invasive monitoring, resonated strongly with the audience who applauded enthusiastically at her words – ‘There are no bogus students, only bogus colleges!’
‘I wanted to bring forth the personal trauma we have seen with our own eyes in our work with students and the youth. People in power need to hear these stories and they need to understand the trouble that their youth and students are put through’ – said Miss Arora – ‘However we didn’t want to just stand up and complain. We are a well-educated and aware generation and so provided a plausible solution to the problems we see – a solution that rationally understands all perspectives, that of the UK, India and the students themselves! We are delighted to see how well received we were and people really understood what we aim to do. UK has previously taken on board our suggestion delivered at the Westminster Legal Policy Forum and we can only hope both the countries now collaborate on the solution presented at this conference’
Miss Arora also spoke on the great divide between the Indian Diaspora in the UK and those originating from India and the disconnect between British Indians and the New Modern India. Generating a multitude of responses, NISU UK managed to put across the concerns and challenges faced by the Indian Youth Diaspora and demonstrated the need for the older generation’s engagement and commitment to the youth.
Resonating the words of Smt Sushma Swaraj’s speech at the inauguration, the NISU UK demonstrated the commitment to involving themselves in India and the Indian Diaspora and to taking the Indian community into the future.
‘We were given a great opportunity here to really bring forward the student and youth issues and represent our members’ – said Vice President of NISU, Rhea Ranjan – ‘We really appreciate this and thank the High Commission for inviting us and organizing such a well-executed event and bringing the UK Indian Diaspora together in such a constructive way!’