President Droupadi Murmu announced that India has decided to extend the eligibility criteria for Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card up from the fourth to the sixth generation of the original Indian immigrants who had arrived in Suriname from Indian territories.
She made this announcement on Monday after witnessing a cultural festival in capital Paramaribo on the occasion of the commemoration of 150 years of the arrival of Indians in Suriname.She said that the OCI card can be seen as an important link in their 150 year old relationship with India.
The President urged members of the Indian diaspora to continue to make efforts to maintain their connections with India.President Murmu said that at a time when Suriname is celebrating the legacy of its ancestors and its links with India, India stands with Suriname in solidarity and reverence.
Murmu further noted that both Suriname and India have made efforts to rebuild their economies and social systems after a long period of colonial rule."This experience has created a feeling of solidarity between the two countries," she said.
The first ship -- Lalla Rookh -- carrying 452 Indian labourers, had arrived in Suriname's capital Paramaribo on June 5, 1873.Most of the labourers hailed from eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.