Dr. Wilfred Mesquita (Image Source: THE GOAN)

We do not have the exact figure or statistics of the Goans working abroad but it is huge in numbers, they work in various countries on different types of jobs either on the land or on ships. According the available sources the major chunk of Goans working abroad does not register themselves with NRI commission in Goa which results into the lack of statistics data about them. According the available information the reason behind not doing a registration is that nobody wants to reveal the information about his or her work position abroad and also they do not want to show their personal investment back home.

According to Mr. Mesquita, NRI commission has requested these Non Resident Goans living abroad for various reasons to register themselves but they do not bother to do so. There are multiple types of categories and associations exist in NRI the question is where to register. This way it becomes difficult to help them in case of any adversity faced by them. Goa government spends lots of money to advertise in newspapers and other media appealing the Non Resident Goans to register them with the NRI commission but despite of that nobody comes forward to do so. Goa government is doing this since they are concerned about their people living abroad.  Mr. Measquita said that though they stay aboard they are still the citizens of India and their names are not been removed from the electoral register “Whenever elections are held and if they wish to vote, they have to come to the polling booth and exercise their right. Regarding voting by not being physically present here, the Supreme Court is hearing the case and till then status quo remains”.

Though there is no feasibility of voting through the e-ballot at the moment as it is still under consideration by the election commission and Supreme Court has maintained the status quo on this subject. “But while taking the decision and passing the judgment, the Supreme Court will have to consider that there are people from a particular state who due to employment or education or other reasons reside in different states within the country and would want to decide the fate of their legislators and representatives of their own state”. Said Mesquita.

To the question of dual citizenship Mr. Mesquita made it clear that those who possess the Portuguese passport according to the Indian law they already lost the Indian citizenship but those who have registered their birth in Portugal before 1961 will be given the one time opportunity to choose the nationality of their choice, but those who do not want to travel and settle there will be a totally a separate case.

News Source: NT

Original Author: Shoaib Shaikh

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