The NRI Forum Karnataka has been hard at work, and has planned a whole slew of programmes for the benefit of its Diaspora outside the country. The proactive Deputy Chairperson of NRI Forum (Karnataka), Smt. Arathi Krishna, says the forum has sought a budgetary allocation of INR 10 cr. towards realising its plans. She says her forum’s plans include the setting up of a database of NRIs from the state, followed by organising pre-departure orientation programme 'Namma Ooru Namma Naadu,' divesting powers over attestation of marriage certificates (of couples going abroad) and authorisation of job recruiting agencies, to name but a few.
Once the database is built up and is made available, it will be much easier to hear diaspora grievances with district-level committees too in the making. Similarly, pre-departure orientation programmes are felt direly essential to create awareness among prospective travellers who will be unaware of rules and regulations pertaining to the countries they plan to travel to. In some countries, carrying certain drugs is not permitted and if found in their possession, they may attract punitive action. There are instances of people landing behind bars due to lack of awareness on such matters. It's only later that they approach the dedicated offices seeking help in bailing them out from the problem.
NRI funds: 'Namma Oooru, Namma Nadu' is aimed at tapping NRI funds towards community building, by aiding works in their native places. The forum will ensure that such funds are exempted under foreign donations. In the existing scenario, the office of regional commissioners in four divisions; Mysuru, Bengaluru, Belagavi and Kalaburagi are vested with powers to attest marriage certificates. The forum has requested the ministry of external affairs to divest the job and hand it over to the forum.
The other plans include: bringing all the organisations and associations of Kannadigas abroad en bloc on a platform to help those in distress, issuing of non-resident Kannadiga (NRK) cards and organising Pravasi Karnataka Divas on the lines of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is celebrated once in two years. The Pravasi Karnataka Divas aims to fill the gap, she said. She also emphasised on taking corrective measures to ensure seats for NRI students, every university has 15% of seats reserved under NRI quota reserved but is currently not being followed in too.
Kerala model: The NRI Forum Karnataka, headed by the chief minister, has recently launched a dedicated policy. The plans hinge on the budgetary allocation, as it is intended to develop a system along the lines of Kerala. Kerala offers several facilities even after the non-residents return to the home state. Kerala has a dedicated ministry for NRIs, with a vast budgetary allocation. Karnataka aims to strengthen the system and legislative committee of minorities headed by Mangaluru south MLA JR Lobo, who has also submitted a report to the government in this regard. The committee has requested INR 50 cr. towards taking up various programmes, Smt. Arathi said.