State Govt Should start an Organization and Bhavan for NRIs – MLA Lobo
Mangaluru: “The Overseas Kannadigas including the Kannadiga diaspora and the NRIs from the state of Karnataka largely comprising of successful professionals who have migrated abroad either for higher studies or to work in major multinational corporations. Realising the need for forging a symbiotic relationship between Karnataka and its diaspora the state government has set up Non-resident Indian forum Karnataka. This forum has been playing a very vital role in strengthening the links between the Karnataka diaspora and several cultural organisations spread across the globe apart from motivating them to bring in investments to our state. It is proposed to bring in a policy which comprehensively looks into the welfare of the NRIs right from providing information on overseas employment opportunities, orientation programs, assisting in clearances, a one point contact in Karnataka for all overseas Kannadigas”, said the MLA of Mangaluru South Constituency J R Lobo in a press meet held at his office here on February 17.
Addressing the mediapersons Lobo said, “I have submitted a report to start a forum for the NRIs. The coastal people from Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and other parts of Karnataka are working in the gulf countries where they sometimes face problems. Before preparing the report, all the 21 committee members visited Kerala and Goa and studied the programmes for NRIs there. The programmes for NRIs in Kerala are a Model to the entire country. The Karnataka NRI forum was only thinking about the investment by the NRIs but did not address any problems faced by the Coastal NRIs.”
In Kerala, the government has taken special measures for the welfare of the NRIs. They have done the survey and provided ID cards for the NRIs. If the NRIs come back for good the forum has taken measures to start their own business by providing them with training. The Kerala government has formed NORKA and the NORKA has started an organisation called NORKA Roots which is working as a company. The Kerala government has invested 51% shares and the NRIs of the state have invested 49%. The government is not making any profit through this organisation but takes all the welfare measures and utilizes the funds to help the NRIs who come back to their hometown for good. They give them skill development training. The organisation helps the NRIs in attesting their marriage certificates, education certification, visa, and recruitments etc. If they fill the forms online they will be given the date and time to visit the NORKA Roots, so that they can go there do all the necessary work there. The NORKA Roots is helping the NRIs do the necessary work without any problems. The Kerala government has provided Rs 148 crore to the NORKA organisation for the welfare of the NRIs. The Karnataka government should take measures to help the NRIs by starting such an organisation. The NORKA along with NORKA Roots is providing all the facilities for the NRIs by charging them Rs 20,000. When they are sick or if anyone dies in the gulf, the organisation will help them”.
Lobo further said, “The state government should take up the survey of the NRIs and start a forum like the one in Kerala and provide ID cards. The government should start an organisation like NORKA. The Government should also provide at least Rs 50 lakh funds for the NRIs forum in the initial stages. An NRI Bhavan should also be built in Mangaluru to help the NRIs when they come back for good and start their own business. We have already submitted our report and I hope the government will surely help us to start such an organisation for the NRIs”.
Mayor Harinath, Lancelot Pinto, Asha D’Silva and others were also present.