Take steps to reduce travel cost, Loka Kerala Sabha delegates urge government

The seminar discussed migration models, international collaboration, and skill development to leverage global job markets.
Loka Kerala Sabha logo used for representation
Loka Kerala Sabha logo used for representationPhoto | Loka Kerala Sabha website

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The huge expenses involved in travel was a key issue raised at a region-specific discussion conducted as part of the fourth Loka Kerala Sabha in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday. Delegates urged the state government and the Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (Norka-Roots) to take measures to reduce these costs.

The discussion highlighted the challenges faced by the Kerala diaspora in the Gulf region, with the delegates raising several issues and suggesting recommendations. There was a call for better regulation of agencies handling visiting visas, amid allegations of widespread mishandling and exploitation.

Delegates also spoke about the need for higher education opportunities for students from the UAE and Saudi Arabia and requested the conduct of cultural activities like ‘Kalotsavam’ for students studying abroad to maintain their cultural connection. Another concern raised was the delay in transporting the bodies of deceased Keralites from Arab countries, particularly Saudi Arabia.

The participants also sought a reintegration programme for those returning from the Gulf to prevent unemployment and increased flight services during peak seasons to accommodate the high travel demand.

The session also discussed the need for the government to ensure that companies provide compensation to the families of those affected by the Kuwait fire tragedy. Officials said due actions will be taken after careful consideration of the delegates requests.

The discussion was chaired by Minister for Ports and Museums Kadannappalli Ramachandran and Minister for Sports and Haj Pilgrimage V Abdurahiman.

MLAs Kadakampalli Surendran, Kurikkolli Moideen, K P Kunjammad Kutti, C H Kunjambu, V R Sunilkumar, and Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan were among those who attended the seminar.

Proposals galore

The questions and challenges related to migration were addressed in another seminar held on foreign recruitment. The session discussed the role migration has played in shaping Kerala’s social, political, and economic landscape.

“Today, over 10% of Kerala’s population resides outside India, contributing to the state’s economy through remittances. But recent trends indicate a decline in Gulf migration due to economic and policy changes with an increasing preference for Europe, Australia, and the Americas. Also, student migration has risen, driven by the pursuit of higher salaries and better living standards,” said Norka Roots CEO Ajith Kolassery.

The seminar discussed migration models, international collaboration, and skill development to leverage global job markets. Nursing and caregiving sectors were identified as having substantial opportunities.

The proposals included enhanced language training, job placement support, digital platforms to facilitate global employment for Keralites, establishing Norka help desks in foreign countries to assist migrants, exploiting opportunities in Jordan’s textile industry which currently employs 5,500 Indians, including 650 Keralites, taking legal measures against fraudulent activities, and offering government job opportunities in Kerala for those who work in overseas universities and hospitals on their return. Minister for Cooperation V N Vasavan chaired the session.

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