France is willing to tie up with leading medical institutions in Puducherry to treat genetic diseases that have surfaced among the French citizens of Indian origin settled in Le Reunion, an Indian Ocean island of France near Mauritius.

Speaking to a group of journalists here on Wednesday, France Ambassador to India Francois Richier said people of Indian origin accounted for 50 per cent of the island’s population of about 1 million. Though they settled there long ago, a study revealed that a section of them had been afflicted with genetic diseases common in India. Hence France decided to explore the possibility of entering into a memorandum of understanding with the leading medical institutions in Puducherry to train doctors and paramedical staff members and to treat patients. Joint studies and collaborative research programmes on genetic diseases could be undertaken.

The aim was to offer good medical protection to the Indian origin population, besides the ethnic groups in the Le Reunion. Since there was a direct flight between Chennai and Le Reunion, there wouldn’t much problem for them to make visit to Puducherry. He had visited Jawaharlal Institute of Post Medical Education and Research Institute (JIPMER) to study the facilities. It was among the medical institutions short listed for medical cooperation between India and France. It had already been sending around 60 medical practitioners to Puducherry every year to undergo training and research projects in leading medical institutions.

Stating that, along with Consul General of France in Puducherry Phillip Janvier Kamiyama, he had met the Lieutenant Governor Virendra Kataria, Mr. Richier said he held discussion with him on readiness of France to invest more in the Union Territory of Puducherry, which had a sizeable number of French nationals. It had good potential on tourism, preservation of heritage, rediscovering the history of Puducherry, trade and others. France would reach out to individual entrepreneurs of French nationals living in Puducherry and France.

While terming 4 km beach front in Puducherry as a point of star attraction for tourists, Mr. Richier said it was willing to offer French technology for the sand beach restoration project. It was certainly possible to convert the existing boulders beach to beautiful sand beach. Though the French government’s readiness was conveyed to the Puducherry government long ago, the proposal was waiting for the clearance of the Ministry of Environment & Forest. The project could be completed with the time bound manner if it received environmental clearance. Eom

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