NRI Forum Karnataka aims at many welfare plans

NRI Forum Karnataka aims at many welfare plans

Budgetary allocation of Rs 10 crore sought, says its deputy chairperson

 In what bodes a good sign for non-resident Indians from Karnataka, the non-resident Indians (NRI) forum has planned a slew of programmes for the benefit of the diaspora outside the country.

Addressing reporters here on Tuesday, deputy chairperson of NRI Forum (Karnataka) Arathi Krishna said the forum has sought a budgetary allocation of Rs 10 crore towards realising its plans. Arathi said the plans include setting up of database of NRIs from the state, followed by organising pre-departure orientation programmes, ‘Namma Ooru Namma Naadu,’ divesting powers over attestation of marriage certificates (of those couples going abroad) and authorisation of job recruiting agencies to name a few.

In detail
Substantiating the plans, Arathi said that while there are over four lakh Kannadigas staying abroad—mostly in gulf countries followed by USA, Germany and other countries—there is no accurate base of the people from the state-origin abroad. Hence, it is imperative to create a database based on their jobs, skills among other distinct qualities.

Once the database is available, it’s easier to hear their grievances with district-level committees too in the making. Similarly, pre-departure orientation programme is essential to create awareness among the people abroad, who will be unaware of rules and regulations pertaining to those countries. In some countries, carrying certain drugs is not permitted and if found in possession, he or she may attract punitive action. There are instances of people landing behind bars due to lack of awareness on such matters. It’s only later that they approach the dedicated offices seeking help in bailing them out from the problem.

Similarly, in the case of recruitment agencies, there are instances of contractors taking job aspirants for a ride.

NRI funds
‘Namma Oooru, Namma Nadu’ is aimed at tapping NRI funds towards community building, by aiding works in their native places. The forum will ensure that such funds are exempted under foreign donations. In the existing scenario, the office of regional commissioners in four divisions; Mysuru, Bengaluru, Belagavi and Kalaburagi is vested with powers to attest marriage certificates. The forum has requested the ministry of external affairs to divest the job and hand it over to the forum.

The other plans include: bringing all the organisations and associations of Kannadigas abroad en bloc on a platform to help those in distress, issuing of non-resident Kannadiga (NRK) card and organising Pravasi Karnataka Divas on the lines of Pravasi Bharateeya Divas. Pravasi Bharateeya Divas is celebrated once in two years. The Pravasi Karnataka Divas aims to fill the gap, she said.

Arathi also emphasised on taking corrective measures to ensure seats for NRI students. Every university has 15% of seats reserved under NRI quota reserved but is currently not being followed in toto.

Kerala model
Arathi said that the NRI Forum, Karnataka, headed by the chief minister, has recently launched a dedicated policy. The plans hinges on the budgetary allocation, as it is intended to develop a system on the lines of Kerala.

Kerala offers several facilities even after the non-resident diaspora returns to the state of origin, she said. She said Kerala has a dedicated ministry for NRIs, with vast budgetary allocation. Karnataka aims to strengthen the system and legislative committee of minorities headed by Mangaluru south MLA J R Lobo has also submitted a report to the government in this regard. The committee has demanded Rs 50 crore towards taking up various programmes, she added.