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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 16, 2007
Many non-resident Indians remain sons of soils at heart
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Many non-resident Indians remain sons of soils at heart

To forget ones ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without root, says a Chinese proverb. And, may be sayings like these have inspired a lot of non-resident Indians to remain associated with their motherland.

By Karan Kapoor

Safawall (Ludhiana), May 16 : To forget one's ancestors' is to be a brook without a source, a tree without root, says a Chinese proverb. And, may be sayings like these have inspired a lot of non-resident Indians to remain associated with their motherland.

Upender Singh Dhilo, a one-time Dalit of Punjab, who had left for the United States in search of green pastures in the past, is just an example from real life.

Born in Safawall, a small hamlet in Punjab's Nakodar town, Dhilo, a member of Sikh Jat community, had migrated to the U.S in 1981. Initially, he had to work at petrol pumps and farms, to become a hotelier later.

Today, the sexagenarian Dhilo is a happily married man with three grown up children. He maintains a well-furnished house and a luxury car.

Though well-settled in America, Dhilo did not disassociate himself from his roots in Punjab. He visits his birthplace twice a year and loves spending most of his time with friends and relatives here.

He loves sharing all those common bubbly dreams with friends and neighbours.

"There is one reason for going outside and that is value of foreign currency which increases 30 to 40 times. When a person returns, his financial condition becomes better," said Upender Dhilo.

Despite residing thousands of miles away from their villages, there are many non-resident Indians who take pride in having their cultural roots in India. And, they are often heard saying it's the smell of the soil that brought them back.

Be it natural calamity or developmental work, there are a large number of non-resident Indians who remain unhesitant to express their concern for fellow villagers.

Be it through direct donations or setting up schools or helping poor girls get married, the help keeps coming in on various occasions.

"When we come to India, we give donations to schools, temples and Gurudwaras. My mother specially gets two to three orphan girls married. It's a good thing that we help the people of our country. My message to all the Punjabis settled outside is that they should come to their homeland and help their fellow villagers or community members," said Upender Singh Dhilo.

But often the youth dreaming of a prosperous career in El Dorado are duped by travel agents and touts.

With human-trafficking still remaining a largely uncovered crime, Punjab has become a soft target of agents to lure the gullible rural folk.

Around 9,000 persons from Punjab have been deported in the last five years.

Concerned with such a trend, Dhilo suggests everyone to use genuine or official channels.

"People should go abroad through proper channels so that they do not become the victims of agents and waste their hard-earned money," said Dhilo.

ANI

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