Welfare fund to help overseas Indians in difficulty
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Last Updated: Wednesday, August 11, 2010, 16:33
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 food.

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 Indians.

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 Africa also.

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.


First Published: Wednesday, August 11, 2010, 16:33

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