New Delhi: In a bid to provide urgent
assistance to stranded and destitute Indians, Government has
set up a fund in its missions in 42 countries which will
extend help by providing air ticket, medical services and
The `Indian Community Welfare Fund` has been set up by
the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs to provide necessary
"on-site" welfare services to Indians in difficulty.
Replying to a query, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister
Vayalar Ravi told Lok Sabha that the fund would be basically
utilised for extending services like food, shelter, medical
facilities and return air tickets to stranded and destitute
The fund has been set up in all Gulf Countries as well
as several countries in Europe and Oceania frequented by the
Indians. It has been made available in the US, UK, Germany,
France, Australia, New Zealand, Maldives, Singapore,
Philippines, Portugal, Fiji, Afghanistan, Mauritius and South
Ravi said the fund has been created through budgetary
support of the Government, levying a nominal fee on consular
services and voluntary contributions from the Indian community
in the respective countries.
The minister said the fund could be utilised by the
missions for transportation of mortal remains of Indian
nationals in "exceptional cases".
He also said 199 Indian workers were awaiting
repatriation in Qatar and one in Malaysia. "No data is
available in respect of other countries," Ravi said when asked
about the number of stranded workers requiring immediate
rehabilitation in various foreign countries.