THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Go trained, go skilled, go with confidence and be safe; that’s the advice Minister of State For External Affairs V K Singh gave prospective expatriates at the state outreach conference.
With Kerala having the highest number of emigrants in the country, there needs to be greater coordination between the Centre and the state to ensure their welfare, said Singh. The Union Minister also welcomed the Chief Minister’s suggestion that a minimum number of officers in Indian embassies in Gulf countries should be conversant in Malayalam. “Health workers constitute the largest chunk of expatriates from Kerala. When it comes to blue collar jobs, states such as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have overtaken Kerala in recent years,” he noted.
The Minister said administrative delays and indifferent attitude of embassy staff were things of the past. “In many instances, even before I respond to tweets of expatriates in distress, I come to know their problems have been solved by the embassy concerned,.
“Over the past three years, over 85,000 expatriate Indians have been successfully evacuated from war zones or from troubled areas. All embassies and consulates have been instructed to ensure the safety of citizens, though there may be delays if legal issues are involved. In such cases, we need to work in close coordination with the state governments.”
Earlier, addressing the gathering, D M Mulay, Secretary (Consular, Passport, Visa and Overseas Indian Affairs) in the MEA stressed the importance of compulsory orientation before going to a foreign country.
“The MEA has gone for an overhaul of our response machinery. We can ensure no Indian overseas will be stranded for any reason without help,” he said. The sessions, organised in association with Norka Roots, included a talk on safe and legal migration issues, the Centre’s schemes for engaging the Indian diaspora, and protection of emigrants.