New Delhi, Sep 7 (IANS) Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi would embark on a six-day European tour Friday to hold discussions with various non-resident Indian (NRI) organisations in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
Ravi, who will be Vienna Friday, will attend some programmes organised by the Vienna Malayalee Association, including Onam celebrations.
Onam, Kerala's harvest festival was celebrated Tuesday in the state. There are around 12,000 Indians - mostly Keralites - in Austria.
'In all the three countries, I will be meeting different NRI groups with whom I will discuss the problems they face. We would like to know what the Indian government can do for them and how the Indian community in Europe can support India,' Ravi told IANS.
'The people there want to know about the overseas citizenship and PIO (People of Indian Origin) cards. I will brief them about these,' he said.
According to Ravi, the Indian community in Switzerland has complained about the new birth registration law under which the authorities want parents to submit their birth certificates. 'It apparently creates trouble for some Indians there as they do not possess a certificate.'
'I am trying to get appointments with the officials in Zurich to raise this issue,' he said.
The minister would be in Zurich Sep 10.
On Sep 11, Ravi would proceed to Germany, where he would spend two days.
He would meet members of the Indian community in Cologne Sep 11 and in Frankfurt the following day to 'interact with the people and discuss their problems'.
Germany has 25,000 Indians and 10,000 people of Indian origin, while in Switzerland, there are 8,400 PIOs and 4,800 Indian citizens.