NRI Fraternity Meet Resolutions
Day – 1
Resolution 1: Start University Study Centres in the Gulf
The NRI Fraternity Meet of the Popular Front of India calls upon the University authorities in the country to start study centres in the Gulf Region to redress acute lack of opportunities for higher education for the expatriate Indian community. Lack of facilities for higher education is a major problem faced by Indian expatriates in the Gulf region. The economic hardship has forced large number of people to discontinue their studies and work abroad for their livelihood. Many of them can develop their career if given a chance to pursue their studies abroad. Despite government assurances about establishing special Universities for Non-Resident Indians, no concrete steps have been initiated to open even study centres of existing Universities abroad.
The existing distant education facilities available in some of the Gulf countries however cater only to a limited few who are well placed and form the upper strata of the expatriate community. Providing adequate higher education facilities for these people will actually boost the economy of our country by enabling them to advance in their career and hence increase the foreign reserves of the country.
It is also to be noted that the children of Indian expatriates living in the Gulf region are forced to pursue higher education after higher secondary courses in foreign universities or universities back in India the cost of which is sometimes unaffordable to many under-paid workers.
This meeting urges the Central and State governments to initiate concrete measures to start university study centres in the Gulf region similar to the Indian schools functioning in this region.
Resolution 2 Grant voting right to Indian expatriates
The NRI Fraternity Meet of the Popular Front of India hereby demands that the Indian expatriates who strengthens the Indian economy and spearhead the developmental activities be provided the right to vote.
More than six million Indian expatriates living in the six GCC countries send about thirty billion US dollars worth of foreign exchange yearly, comprising 3% of the national income. Even after a lot of discussions, deliberations and declarations on providing identity cards and voting rights for Indian expatriates, nothing has materialized until now. This meeting also deplores the step motherly attitude adopted by the central government as well as political leaders towards the expatriates in the Gulf and the annual NRI jamborees are nothing but to showcase unpopular and unrepresentative expatriate leaders. Therefore, this meet strongly demand that the activities of Bharathiya Pravasi Divas be made more effective and the Central government take appropriate steps to effectively pass the “Pravasi Right to Vote Bill” that is expected to be presented at the next parliament session.
Resolution – 3: Urgent action by the Government to free Indians in overseas jails
The number of Indian expatriates being imprisoned in foreign countries due to ignorance of local laws and traffic rules is on the increase at an alarming rate and that a large number of people have been given long term jail sentences after being unable to pay up huge fines imposed by authorities for traffic accidents and violations.
The NRI Fraternity Meet of the Popular Front of India strongly demands that the Central and State governments intervene in such cases and to instruct the embassies and consular authorities take serious steps to release these unfortunate souls.
This meet also demand the government to provide financial support from the Welfare Fund run by the Indian embassies for the release and return of Indians imprisoned for various reasons.
Resolution – 4: Reservation in education for dependants and rehabilitation for Gulf returnees
The Indian expatriates have contributed immensely for the economic development of India. Around 40,000 crore rupees are being sent from the Gulf countries alone to India as foreign exchange. Educational institutions, Governmental and Non-governmental projects and various social ventures have been financed by the active support of expatriates. Almost all religious, social and political organizations approach the expatriates for their financial needs from time to time. The global economic recession and the slump in oil prices have adversely affected the Indian expatriates to a great extent. Almost 80,000 persons had to leave Kuwait, Bahrain and UAE prior to this during the clemency period. The additional fallout from the economic crisis will be more than bearable and will have a huge impact on the socio-economic fabric of the country. During the past 3 months about 60 persons committed suicide as a result of this situation.
The NRI Fraternity Meet of the Popular Front of India strongly demands the following to the affected, deprived and destitute Gulf returnees.
1. Introduce special schemes to provide jobs in government or quasi- government institutions to expatriates who are forced to return home after losing their jobs.
2. Provide reservation in educational institutions to children of destitute expatriates.
3. Initiate new scheme to provide special provision for the development and uplift of the poor Gulf returnees.