There are 25 million Indians (non-resident Indians and persons of Indian origin) living overseas. In terms of sheer numbers, that translates into a diaspora that’s larger than the population of Australia. In recognition of the significance of this population, the Indian government has marked 7-9 January as Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, a yearly event dedicated to the diaspora that comes a few weeks after International Migrants Day, which falls on 18 December. Against this backdrop, Jawaharlal Nehru University’s International Migration and Diaspora Studies Project has released ‘The India Migration Report 2009: Past, Present and the Future Outlook’, the first of its kind.
Also See The NRI Tale (Graphic)
The country has a history of migration that dates back to the advent of sea trade that propelled Indians to emigrate to Africa and South-East Asia. With the expansion of British control, Indians were sent to the plantation colonies of the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean islands, South and South-East Asia, Africa and the Pacific. Over the last two decades, Indian migration patterns are beginning to shift. The new Indian emigrant seeks different destinations and professions, sends more money back home and is also more likely to return.
Compiled by Saabira Chaudhuri
Illustration by Shyamal Banerjee; Graphic by Sandeep Bhatnagar