Industrious, innovative and ever responsive to opportunities, the Keralites, professional and technically skilled, are among the most enterprising people in the world. Exploring the horizons of career opportunities, nearly 25,00,000 Keralites have emigrated to various countries. They contribute their expertise and innovative skills to their states of domicile, bringing in additional income to the motherland.
It is to ensure the welfare of these Non-Resident Keralites, redress their grievances and safeguard their rights that NORKA, the Non-Resident Keralites Affairs Department was set up by the Government of Kerala.
Ever since its origin NORKA has devised various schemes to help the NRK at every step. The latest addition to NORKA’s activities is the Non-Resident Keralites Welfare Agency (NORKWA).
Assistance to stranded Keralites.
Complaints on non-receipt of salary, accommodation etc.
Assistance in bringing the mortal remains of NRKs to Kerala, subject to certain conditions.
Complaints on illegal overseas recruitment agencies.
Enquiries on investment opportunities in Kerala.
Enquiries on Pravasi Suraksha Kudumba Arogya Scheme.
Grievances of Non-Resident Keralite Housemaids and other non-resident women in distress.
Problems faced by the NRKs in State Government Departments.
Claiming of compensation and other benefits due to employers/Government.
Introduction of a pension fund for NRKs.
Rehabilitation of NRK returnees.
Skill up gradation training.
NORKA is the first Department of its kind in India. Other states like Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, and others have approached NORKA for guidelines in the constitution of similar Departments.
In association with the Government of India, it has provided assistance to the 5000 odd Non- Resident Keralites who overstayed in the UAE and who were ousted, as a result of the new laws there.
* A quick survey was conducted in collaboration with the State Planning Board on the Socio-Economic status of returnees.
* Special counters were opened to facilitate the smooth return of evicted NRKs to the UAE by providing them with air tickets from AIR INDIA at reduced rates.
* Assisted the 2000 odd NRKs who were repatriated from Saudi Arabia by setting up assistance counter at the Mumbai airport along with the Malayalee Associations in Mumbai and assisted them in reaching home in association with Indian Railways.
* Launched an Insurance Scheme named Pravasi Suraksha for the NRKs living abroad. It is the first scheme of its kind in India.
* Constituted an emergency repatriation fund for the repatriation of stranded Keralite's abroad and for the transportation of mortal remains of NRKs
* Prompt action is always taken to locate and repatriate stranded NRKs.
* Assisted those NRKs who have been newly appointed in Kerala Government services, orders have been issued to extend their joining time by six months.
* Formed two department-level committees - A Committee to check illegal recruitment and a State level Awareness committee to check illegal recruitment.
* Speedy redressal of issues concerning NRKs living outside the state but within the country.
* An Infrastructure Initiative Fund has been set up to facilitate NRK investment in Infrastructure Development Projects.
* Initiated action to register the names of NRKs on their respective ration cards at home from the year 2000. Directions have been issued to that effect from the Food and Civil Supplies Department.