Friday, September 7, 2012

Assistance For Overseas Indians
 The details of the assistance provided by the ministry to Overseas Indians is given below:
I.              Overseas Workers Resource Centre(OWRC)

The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has launched an Overseas Workers Resources Centre(OWRC) to provide information and assistance to intending emigrants as well as the family members of overseas workers relating to all aspects of overseas employment. The OWRC operates a 24x7 toll-free helpline(            1800113090      ) to provide need- based information to emigrants and their families.  With a view to extending the services of supporting Indian emigrants, an international toll-free line (            8 000 911 913      ) has been established which is currently available for calls from United Arab Emirates(UAE) alone.  Complaints or grievances received on the toll-free helpline are promptly attended to and feedback is provided to the complainant.  The helpline numbers are given out as part of the multimedia awareness campaign organised by the Ministry.
            The Ministry has also set up Migrant Resource Centres(MRCs) at Kochi in Kerala and Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh.  The MRC performs functions similar to that of the OWRC at the level.  The Ministry regularly carries out multimedia awareness campaign for educating emigrants about emigration procedures, the pitfalls of illegal emigration and the precautions to be taken during recruitment and overseas employment.
            The scope of work of the OWRC Helpline presently also  provides for walk-in counselling, and an interactive web-site, namely, www.owrc.inw.e.f 31.12.2010.  The lodging of complaints can now be done through the OWRC web-site, email, or telephonically.   The centre has been integrated with MRCs at Kochi and Hyderabad.
I.              Indian Workers Resource Centre(IWRC)

An Indian Workers Resource Centre (IWRC) has been setup and is functioning at Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) .  The IWRC at Dubai was inaugurated by the Hon’ble President of India on 23rd November, 2010.  The centre aims to disseminate information, register, respond and monitor complaints as well as provide for a grievance redressalsystem and follow up with stake holders.  The centre is being managed by the CGI, Dubai through an outsourced service provider.  The centre has a 24x7 helpline, provides grievance redressal and counseling and also manages a shelter home for runaway housemaids and deserted housewives etc.

II.            Indian Community Welfare Fund

For safeguarding the welfare and protection of Indians abroad, especially Indian workers, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has set up the ‘Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF)’ which was operationalised in  Indian Missions in all Countries with effect from 24.03.2011. The fund aims to provide on-site emergency assistance for Overseas Indian Citizens who are in distress, on a means tested basis.   The welfare services provided by the ICWF include boarding and lodging for distressed  household / domestic workers and unskilled labourers, emergency medical care to overseas Indians in need, providing air passage to stranded  overseas Indians in distress, providing initial legal assistance to the overseas Indians in deserving cases and incurring expenditure on incidentals and for airlifting the mortal remains to India or  local  cremation/burial of the deceased overseas Indians in cases where a  sponsor is unable or unwilling to do so as per the contract and the family is unable to meet the cost.

IV.    Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi suraksha Yojana
The Government has launched a scheme called the ‘Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha Yojana’ (MGPSY) for Indian workers holding Emigration Check Required (ECR) passports and a valid work permit in an ECR country.  This scheme encourages and enables Overseas Indian Workers to save for their return and resettlement and to save for their old age by providing a co-contribution from the Government.  This also provides a free Life Insurance Cover against natural death during the period of coverage under this scheme.

This information was given by the Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, Shri Vayalar Ravi in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.

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