In what could be seen as an emerging challenge with a potential to mar India’s reputation, several Indian youth are indulging in organised crimes across the world, according to non-resident Indians. This was one of the primary issues discussed at a session, ‘Diaspora Organisations: Bridging Distances, Unlocking opportunities’, as part of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in the city on Monday. Shree Srikanth, a resident of USA, pointed this out to Gen V K Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs. He said Indian youths forming gangs and indulging in crimes is an issue that had to be addressed immediately. “When Vietnamese youth were harassed, they formed gangs to defend their communities abroad. Similar patterns are being noticed with the Indian youth as well,” he said. Srikanth said that one in six Indians living in the USA are believed to be below the poverty line. One of the primary reasons why they turn to crime is to make ends meet, he opined. Besides illegal immigration, youth indulge in alcoholism, drug peddling or addiction or theft. This is a trend in other parts of the world too, Sridhar Mysore, a social worker from New Zealand said. Srikanth said they see Indian youths forming gangs. “Poverty is contributing to several other issues such as drug abuse. We see them all grouping together now,” he added. Another delegate from Canada said that though several countries are trying to address the issue, there must be intervention from Indian embassies as well. ‘No coordination’ Members of various communities of the Indian diaspora said that even as there were hundreds of organisations working to help Indians abroad, they have differences with each other. Political ideologies or communities they cater to vary. Hence, it was sought during the session, that these be brought under a common umbrella by the Ministry of External Affairs. Gen Singh suggested that these organisations follow the Lions International model to create a bonding among members.