Non-Resident Keralites Affairs Page
Shri. Pinarayi Vijayan
Chief Minister of Kerala
Office of the Chief Minister
3rd Floor, North Block, Secretariat,
Tel: 0471 – 2333241
FAX: 0471 – 2333489
Residence: 0471 – 2314853, 2318406
Dr. K. Ellangovan IAS
Room No. 115
Department of Non-resident Keralites Affairs (NORKA)
Non- Resident Keralites Affairs
NORKA Enquiry: 2332416/ 2332452
NRKs and their relatives in the State have experienced both the positive and negative influences of issue caused by migration to other parts of the world. This has peaked up during the past quarter of a century. The social security of the non resident Keralites and their families is of major concern. Realizing this on 6th December 1996 Government of Kerala has launched department of Non Resident Keralites' Affairs (NORKA) to redress the grievances of non resident Keralites that had been left untangled. NORKA is the first department of its kind in India. NORKA is a single window agency to fulfill an assurance given by the Government of Kerala to its expatriate community. It aimed at the strengthening of relation between the NRKs and the Government of Kerala and the culmination of efforts for finding out solution to problems faced by NRK community. It is also an attempt at institutionalizing the administrative framework.
NORKA has established NORKA Roots that acts as a counsel for the non-resident keralites. NORKA has established the agency-Non-Resident Keralites Welfare Agency to implement schemes for the welfare and benefit of NRKs, to channelise their expertise and resources. As an agency, it is expected that more activities in all spheres connected with NRKs can be taken up.
NORKA makes efforts to solve the petitions were for remedial action on threats to the lives and property of those who are left at home, tracing of missing persons abroad, compensation from sponsors, harassment from sponsors, cheating by recruiting agents, education facilities for children of NRKs, introduction of more flights, etc. It provides assistance to stranded keralites through follow up action initiated on all the petitions. The authorities of State Government/Government of India were directed to take immediate suitable action on them.
NORKA has established NORKA Roots that acts as a counsel for the non-resident keralites. NORKA has established an agency-the Non-Resident Keralites Welfare Agency-to implement schemes for the welfare and benefit of NRKs, to channelise their expertise and resources. As an agency, it is expected that more activities in all spheres connected with NRKs can be taken up.
Major Functions of the department
- Assistance to stranded Keralites.
- Complaints on non receipt of salary, accommodation etc.
- Assistance in bringing the mortal remains of NRKs to Kerala, subject to certain conditions.
- Complaints on illegal overseas recruitment agencies.
- Enquiries on investment opportunities in Kerala.
- Enquiries on Pravasi Suraksha Kudumba Arogya Scheme.
- Grievances of Non Resident Keralite Housemaids and other non resident women in distress..
- Problems faced by the NRKs in State Government Departments.
- Claiming of compensation and other benefits due from employers/Government.
Introduction of a pension fund for NRKs.
- Rehabilitation of NRK returnees.
- Skill upgradation training.
- Reintegration training
A hand of solaceEven while in the struggles and hardships to make a life abroad, each non-residential Malayali is nostalgic about his home land and his roots. The large number of Kerala Diaspora, especially from the Gulf has high hopes on comprehensive schemes for NRKs. It is the Government's concern for the welfare of the NRKs and need to plan and execute various schemes and projects for NRKs. Government which is committed to the problems of Non-Resident Keralites has launched various schemes in collaboration with other agencies in order to provide social security cover to millions of NRKs who toil in elsewhere in the world.
Pravasi Identity Card: The government of Kerala has decided to issue photo identity cards for the non-resident Keralites working for a minimum of 6 months in a foreign country. The ID card will be issued to all the NRKs working abroad across the globe. The ID card would be a base material for long-term policy formulation of Government. This is for the first time that a state government is implementing such a major scheme for its people.
The Government has entrusted NORKA-ROOTS as the implementing agency of the scheme. NRK Identity Card Cells have been constituted in Thiruvananthapuran, Kochi and Kozhikode districts for receiving the applications of the NRKs. The districts pertaining to each zone as detailed below can submit their applications in the three regional centers of NORKA-ROOTS.
The NRK who are either residing or working abroad at least for 6 months and have completed 18 years of age are eligible for applying the card. The validity of the card is of 3 years. NRKs can apply for the ID Cards by submitting their application duly verified and attested by the people's representatives, concerned embassies or the gazzetted officers of Government of Kerala. Copies of the relevant pages of passport and visa are to be enclosed along with the application. The registration fee is only Rs. 200/- per person.
The New India Insurance Company will provide insurance coverage to the card holders. The coverage is given for accidental death, permanent and total or partial disability of the card holder. A unique master policy number is depicted in each card.
Repatriation of dead bodies of NRKs is one of the major problems that require Government attention. "Losing a loved one is very difficult as it is - there is no need for added stress" is not a mere comment from a Non resident Keralite but it emphasizes the need of urgent measures to streamline the process for the transfer of bodies to their home country.
Non Resident Keralites upset by long, aggravated procedures, take up several days to repatriate a body. Further more, financial assistance for the repatriation of dead body/bodies and subsequent settlement of claims is a foremost need for majority of the NRKs. By realising this, NORKA has constituted fund for extending financial assistance to legal heirs of NRKs for repatriation of dead bodies of NRKs who expired while abroad or in an Indian State outside Kerala.
Thousands of Keralalites working in at foreign countries return home on expiry of visa or termination of their contracts. The plight of many NRK workers, particularly in the labour category, is pitiable once they lose their jobs, as they have several family members who depend on them.
Swanthwana is a Relief Fund Scheme that has been launched for NRKs in distress. This scheme targets NRK returnees living on below poverty line and similarly placed dependents of deceased NRK's. The scheme is devised to meet financial requirements for marriages, medical treatment etc. and posthumous aid to provide social security to and their family or dependents.
Non-Resident Keralites Welfare Scheme:Benefits for the members of Welfare Fund Board (PDF)
Some of the recent initiatives for the welfare of the NRKs and returnees merit a brief mention as a reflection of the Government's concern and commitment for their welfare and rehabilitation.
Awareness campaign on safe migration
It is widely recognised that migration is one of the most significant global phenomena and challenges of this century. This is especially relevant to Kerala, as a major supplier of labour to the foreign job market. The economy of Kerala relies heavily on remittances. Over the years, migration has become an extremely complex process and the migrant labourers of Kerala experience extreme hardship and exploitation at every stage of migration. Successive governments have taken various legislative measures to streamline the sector. Past experience suggests that legal steps are only effective when the necessary information is made available to potential migrants, their families and common people.
In recent years, the Government of Kerala has realised the facts and several important steps have been taken to improve the governance of migration. There remain many challenges ahead and much room for improvement. One of the most burning problems facing by migrants is widespread lack of awareness about the complexities of migration. The large number of Kerala Diaspora, especially from the Gulf has high hopes for formal and credible mechanism to provide information on safe migration procedures. Lack of awareness regarding formal sources of information has made potential migrants easy prey to fraud and cheating by unscrupulous recruitment agents.
Pre-departure orientation programme
The protection of migrant workers can be enhanced through better training programmes and information dissemination about migration. ‘Pre-departure' for migrant workers begins long before the actual journey. ‘Pre-departure orientation training' aims to provide practical knowledge and protection skills to those who are in the middle of processing migration. This includes measures and strategies that could be used by the migrants to maximise the benefits of migrations and reduce potential dangers. It seeks to sensitise the migrants about the cultural milieu and legal rights and obligations in the destination country.
NORKA-ROOTS has launched its first Pre-Departure Orientation Programme through a State level inauguration on 15th December, 2006 at Durbar Hall Thiruvananthapuram by the Hon'ble Chief Minister of Kerala in the Hon'ble presence of the UAE Labour Minister Dr. Ali Bin Abdullah Al' Kaabi. This programme is intended to make our overseas job aspirants aware about general job situations abroad and to impart essential information relating to visa, emigration rules, employment contract, customs regulations, travel formalities etc. Similar Orientation Programmes were conducted at Ernakulam, Kozhikode and Palakkad.
One day workshops for overseas job seekers were also conducted in association with district administrations at Kasaragod, Kannur, Malappuram, Thrissur and Kottayam
Skill Upgradation Programme- Combating with arising challenge
In the early years of migration Keralalites including illiterates and people were not exposed to the exigencies of foreign employment considered foreign countries especially gulf countries as the place to get an occupation. Unemployment in the state is the prime cause that has been forcing majority of Kerala youth to work abroad. A large number of emigrants accepted jobs abroad regardless of their education abroad. In the seventies there was spurt with number of emigrants. They have been engaged in various capacities including manual jobs. Ever so many people who reached foreign countries turned the bread winners of their houses and their home land.
This aspect of migration in the initial period, the situation has changed over the years. The number of educated people, who established their occupation abroad, has increased. However, most of the emigrants were unskilled workers. Workers with multiple skills are urgent and indispensable requirement in the overseas job market.
It is therefore important to upgrade the skills of the young workforce who are seeking employment abroad. Realizing this, NORKA has decided to provide a support system to provide sufficient training and orientation to prospective emigrants. Skill Upgradation Programme focuses on upgrading the skill of young Keralites workforce to meet the challenges in the overseas employment market. The programme aims to bring knowledge, deep functional expertise, and a practical approach to building capabilities and delivering real impact.
1. Non Resident Keralites' Affairs (A) Department
Phone: 0471-251 8182
1. Tracing of missed personnel abroad.
2. Payment of Gratuity/Pension/Compensation to dependent of deceased Non resident Keralites abroad.
3. Rendering assistance in bringing home the dead bodies of Keralites who died abroad.
4. Welfare activities of Keralites living abroad.
5. Matters relating to the participation of Government representative in overseas conventions of Keralites living abroad.
6. Assistance to Malayali organisations outside the State.
7. World Malayali Conventions, Trade fairs etc.
8. Assistance in case of accidents abroad.
9. Assistance for repatriation in case of difficulties with sponsors.
10. Security of women workers working outside the State.
11. Rehabilitation of Returnees.
12. Assistance to distressed NRK's abroad.
13. Publicity matters of the Department.
14. Welfare Schemes including Rehabilitation, Employment, Education, Housing, Health of Dependents etc., of NRKs.
15. Verification of antecedents of Keralites in Jail abroad.
16. Complaints and enquiries of Pravasi Suraksha Social Welfare Schemes and Pravasi Swasraya Social and Security Schemes.
17. Dual Citizenship.
18. All papers dealing with general amnesty.
19. Voting rights of NRKs.
20. Miscellaneous papers of NORKA (A).
2. Non Resident Keralites' Affairs (B) Department
Phone: 0471-251 8061
1. Keralites in other States and the problems experienced by them.
2. Papers/Matters related to migrants, Relief and Rehabilitation of Gulf Returnees due to Iraq-Kuwait war including compensation cases.
3. Matters connected with air fare to overseas countries.
4. Matters relating to visa cheating.
5. Difficulties caused in the hands of customs/police personnel on arrival at Mumbai and other International Airports in India.
6. Difficulties in admission to educational Institutions in Kerala for children of Non-resident Malayalees.
7. Paper relating to "NORKA-ROOTS".
8. NORKA Cell at New Delhi.
9. Budget Papers of NORKA Department.
10.Ente Malayalam Ente Abhimanam.
11.Ente Gramam Ente Swapnam.
12.NRI Investment Cell. Papers of Investment enquiries by NRKs.
13.Assistance to Keralites' Organisation Outside the State.
14.Registration of NRK Associations.
15.NRK Infratructure Initiative Fund.
16.Matters connected to NRKs in their home land.
17.Parliament papers of the Department.
18.Miscellaneous papers and petitions.
19.Upkeep of Equipments of the Department.
20.Paper relating to Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.
21.Purchase of Office Car, Maintenance, posting of Driver, wages, cash and cash book etc.
| Deputy Secretary |
Kerala-695 001 India
| Ph:+91-471-2327192(O) |
NORKA , Govt.Secretariat,
|Official website of Norka-Roots||www.norkaroots.net|
|Kerala Non Resident Keralites Welfare Board||www.pravasikerala.org|
|Overseas Development and Employment Promotion Consultants Ltd||odepc.kerala.gov.in|
Office of the Resident Commissioner, Kerala House, New Delhi
|Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (Government of India)||www.moia.gov.in|
|Ministry of External Affairs||www.mea.gov.in|
|Bureau of Immigration||boi.gov.in|