NRI cell set up in Udupi DC’s office

Dr Ravindranath Shanbhag, Human Rights Protection Foundation Udupi district president, speaks during a workshop organised to create awareness among the NRIs in Udupi on Tuesday.

Kundapur Assistant Commissioner T Bhoobalan said that an NRI cell is set up in the deputy commissioner’s office to address the grievances of non-resident Indians.

Speaking after inaugurating a workshop to create awareness among NRIs on Tuesday, the assistant commissioner, who is also the convener of the NRI Welfare Committee called on non-resident Indians to avail the benefits of the cell to get solutions for the problems.

He said several people from the district work abroad and are ignorant of the legal procedures for them to handle distress. They are unaware of the people to be contacted in the bureaucratic system when they are in distress. In such situations, the NRIs can use the facilities in the NRI cell.

Human Rights Protection Foundation Udupi district president Dr Ravindranath Shanbhag said that each country has its own laws and immigrants who work there are entitled to abide by these laws. In Udupi district, 2,000 to 3,000 people are working abroad, going there with the help of agents. He said, as per the Emigration Act, 1983, all the recruiting agencies that are sending uneducated labourers to foreign countries, especially to the Gulf region, should compulsorily register themselves with the vigilance cell headed by the deputy commissioner.

More than 3,000 labourers go abroad every year through Overseas Recruiting Agencies (ORA). Unfortunately, not a single such agency in Karnataka is registered according to the official website of the Ministry of External Affairs. Further, not a single vigilance cell functions effectively in any of the districts. However, to register, the employee should have Rs 8 lakh in fixed deposits and Rs 50 lakh worth of bank guarantee. They should offer details of their employment every month to the organisation where they have registered. Unfortunately, the state does not have any such organisation offering employment to the aspirants in different countries, he added.

Lauding the workshop and its intentions, Shanbhag said the district administration has tried to create awareness among the people aspiring to seek jobs abroad and also working in different countries of their rights. The workshop will also highlight the problems faced by the NRIs and the probable solution. The workshops will also be held in all the religious centres in the district in the days to come, he maintained.

Dr Shanbhag highlighted various instances of Human Rights violation of Overseas Workers, particularly in the Gulf starting from 1990 and how the Human Rights foundation can assist the victims. The seminar was focused on the multifarious problems faced by these unskilled laborers and the repatriation procedures.

Dr Shanbhag also cited the role of the district administration in designing a framework for the prevention of Human Trafficking, false imprisonment, labour securities and other employment issues of the unskilled workers in various Gulf countries.

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NRI cell set up in Udupi DC’s office

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