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Indian Girls In Russia

by Francis C. Assisi (From Petersburg Times)

However, it is not generally known that there is a significant Indian and South Asian diasporic presence in Russia. A recent study sponsored by the Russian Academy of Sciences claims that Russia may indeed be witnessing the re-emergence of that once extensive Indian Diaspora that stretched from Sindh through Central Asia and into Russia.

The study’s author, Dr. Igor Y. Kotin of St. Petersburg State University, concludes that the problems facing the 40,000 people of Indian origin in Russia is approximately the same as those faced by Indians elsewhere: racism and cultural alienation from the host society, religious intolerance against Hinduism’s vibrant presence, illegal immigration and transit movement of immigrants to other destinations, and problems relating to education, business and settlement.

Consider the following demographics: the 2002 census of the Russian population counted 2,000 persons of Indian origin in Russia. However, the Report of the High Level Committee on Indian diaspora gives a figure of 16,000 Non-Resident Indians in the country. And the figure given by the President of the Association of Indians in Russia, is 40,000.

Prof. Kotin believes that the estimate of 40,000 is reasonable.

Kotin figures that there are an estimated 10,000 Indian students studying in Moscow alone. Another 10,000 may reflect the number of illegal migrants from South Asia who live in the Moscow area. Besides students, there are numbers of businessmen in St Petersburg, Novgorod, Kazan and Kursk. Half of the total figure may be residing in St Petersburg.

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