Bridging diasporic gaps: MoS External Affairs and MoS for Culture Meenakshi Lekhi launches the International Desi website

“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you will not stay where you are.” – J.P. Morgan

New Delhi, May 31: Migration, for centuries now, has been associated with experiences, adventures, and explorations. Amidst the joy and content of making it to the other side of the seven seas, hidden fears of uncertainties and disconnect hit us. Students, employees, entrepreneurs etc., who travel around the globe depend on informal sources or social media connections to find their way to a new country.

After her own relocating and travelling experiences for studies, work and pleasure for decades, Ms. Sandhya Jane recognized these diasporic setbacks and launched an online platform in 2018 to bring the Indian community together in Hong Kong. This platform was supported by Mr. Puneet Agrawal, then Hon. Consul General of Hong Kong via the website, WhatsApp and telegram groups, social media and city guide.

After testing initial success in publishing Hong Kong Guide for two years, International Desi now extends its services to other cities such as New York, Tokyo, and London. These are not purely a directory but a guide that provides information presented after extensive research by various sources, including firsthand experiences from the members.

Here is the link to previous copies of the Hong Kong Guide – https://issuu.com/hongkong.desi

The International Desi platform has now found its global gateway with the launch of its official website International Desi (https://international-desi.com). The website was launched by the Minister of State for External Affairs and the Minister of State for Culture Hon. Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi at her office in New Delhi on 24th May 2022. Launching the website and voicing her support for the initiative, Ms. Lekhi said, “I firstly wish my warm congratulations to Ms. Jane and her team for this website. Initiatives like International Desi help our people to stay connected. At a time when our diaspora is increasing its base outside the country, providing logistical and emotional support goes a long way. Such platforms keep our hearts connected irrespective of the physical distance.”

International Desi is a unique community venture that offers a wide range of useful information and services to the Indian diaspora, including news, local services, employment, business, exclusive services for parents and relatives living in India, etc. This way, the community stays connected culturally, socially, emotionally, and professionally.

It also aims to connect people with reliable third-party service providers such as legal assistance, housing, healthcare, etc., in India and outside. For that, International Desi will also host a series of events to expand the outreach of Indian culture. Most of all, it serves to connect Indian communities around the globe and challenge the growing issues of foreign alienation and loneliness.

Ecstatic about the launch, Ms. Jane commented, “I would like to express my deep appreciation and gratitude to Ms. Meenakshi Lekhi Ji for taking time from her busy schedule to launch our website. The idea behind the website is to ease the adjustment and shifting processes and live in new locations. Leaving home can be a distressing change, and finding yourself in a completely foreign land has led many of us to feel homesick. The goal of International Desi is to bridge this gap and ensure that it feels like home wherever we are. We offer a full range of services, including business expansion and ideation, cultural exchanges, and even leisure resources. I hope the website serves its purpose, and fellow Indians who plan on moving across oceans can do it with no hassles.

Now, we are also planning to help the global Indians reconnect with their families and friends in India and try to arrange the support in their absence to remain focused in their careers. Initially, it will be done through a third party.”

Ms. Jane also extended her gratitude to Dr. Gyaneshwar Muley, former Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, present at the launch event.

So, let us live with an idea – “Happiness doesn’t have just one address.” -Anonymous

International Desi Website: https://international-desi.com/

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