At least one person from an Indian household is setting up home abroad owing to multiple reasons.
According to reports from the United Nations (2015), over 244 million people live in countries outside their countries of birth. In this context, it is of the essence to note that Indians comprise the largest diaspora population in the world. More than 16 million Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) live in countries outside India.
Around 2.2 million Indians are living and working in the Gulf countries. South Africa lone has a 1.3 million strong Indian diaspora, which includes those born in India and their descendants.
If you are wondering why the scores of Indians are opting to settle abroad, here are some of the reasons:
The ‘Videshi’ Dream
The “Videshi” dream is one of the few vestiges of a colonial legacy that India has not been able to outgrow. It appears to be a matter of pridefulness for Indian households to send their children abroad - both for studies and for work. The remittances are great for the economy, to a fault.
While some important issues, such as the need of support for senior citizens back home, remain in the shadows, states such as Kerala, Punjab, and Gujarat get ahead on the dream of the young ones going to “foreign” countries and earning big bucks.
A growing population has made India one of the most populated countries of the world. India’s population, as of 2016, was 1,266,883,598. Finding competent opportunities for such a sizable population is a considerable challenge.
According to the National Science Foundation, the United States government agency, there were about 950,000 scientists and engineers of Indian origin in the U.S. in the year 2013.
This is an 85 percent growth in the number between 2003 and 2013. Well-educated Indians choose to plug the demand between the demand and supply for engineers, scientists, and doctors rather than trying to find for opportunities back home.
India is one of the biggest Information Technology and outsourcing services provider in the world. Companies such as Genpact, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys, and Wipro have made a mark in the European Union and in the United States and offer large scale IT and BPO services. It is but apparent that sustaining such a large industry will require a number of workers in the industry to go abroad, at least for long periods of time.
The life in India is difficult since the socio-political system is damaged with a number of evils. Staunch caste and religious rules dictate life in the country. Gender inequality is out of control and so is corruptness and environmental condition. Reservation, while intending to protect the interests of the deprived, often keeps deserving candidates from claiming rightful opportunities. The political influence on social life is momentous and medical and healthcare facilities oftentimes inaccessible of the lower rungs of society. The idea that migrating abroad will give one and one’s menage a better life is one of the dominant persuasions behind India’s great emigration numbers.
In India, a handed-down emphasis on education means that almost all parents dream of sending their children abroad for the sake of higher education. With an increase in the disposable income of families, this dream is more and more becoming a reality.
The growth in the number of students going overseas is at an unprecedented high, as per statistics of the Indian Students Mobility Report 2016. Most of these students head out to the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, and like to start working in these countries after their education.
By Sowmya Sangam