Under the auspices of ODI (Mauritius)
The Organisation for Diaspora Initiatives Mauritius’ colloquium held recently at the Gold Crest Hotel, Quatre Bornes was a resounding success. The theme was ‘Diasporas as a Resource: Opportunities for Mauritius’. The keynote address was given by the founder-chairman of ODI International, Professor Ajay Dubey of the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. Besides Prof Dubey, there were also present Hon. Mukeshwar Choonee, Minister of Arts and Culture, Hon. Arvin Boolell, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shree CD Thomas, Head of Indian Chancery, and Mr Chit Dukhira, the Founder-President of ODI (Mauritius) on the panel.
Mr Chit Dukhira, in his welcome speech, talked about the ODI’s mission since its inception in 2006 in favour of vibrant multi-culturalism through the organization of a myriad of activities to promote the spirit of tolerance and understanding for a better society. In his keynote address, Prof Ajay Dubey made a brief expose on the Indian Diaspora. He also focused on how the wide networks of the Chinese, Indian, Jew, Greek, African, Arab and other diasporas present all over the world can serve as an important resource for the economic, social and political development of society. The degree of internal cohesion within a community is a significant factor of diasporic success, he said. ODI (Mauritius) has a major role to play to initiate activities and reflection not only for Indians but also for other ethnic groups of this rainbow nation to sensitise them on the growing need of multiculturalism in our global village.
Ministers Choonee and Boolell and Professor Serge Riviere also addressed the gathering. The vote of thanks was proposed by Professor Ameenah Gurib-Fakim of the University of Mauritius.
Philip Li Ching Hum
Founder Member of ODI
* Published in print edition on 4 May 2012