Hyderabad: Gulf migrant rights activists from Telangana state would be visiting Kerala to understand the best practices and Gulf migration management system there. They aim to draft and submit a report to the TS government for initiation of suitable measures here too.
In his Budget speech, finance minister T. Harish Rao had said, "The Telangana government would put in place an administrative arrangement on the lines of Kerala for welfare of those from Telangana who work in the Gulf. A special team has visited Kerala to study the policies being adopted by the government there. Based on its report, the government will initiate measures for welfare of Gulf workers."
This didn't go well with the Gulf workers. Guggilla Ravi Goud, convener of the Telangana Gulf Workers Joint Action Committee, said, "It's been more than four years since the government promised to form a committee. Although the committee visited Kerala and submitted its report, nothing has happened on the ground level."
The visit to Kerala by the committee of activists comes against this backdrop. Ravi said, "The government is dilly-dallying about the plan to establish a Gulf welfare board. So we would submit a report after careful examination of the Kerala model."
Ravi added, "The needs of Telangana and Kerala Gulf migrants are different. For example, in Kerala, an ex gratia of `1 lakh would be awarded in the event of a migrant’s death. However, the Telangana government had promised `5 lakh to such families."
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, Swadesh Parkipandla, president of the Pravasi Mithra Labour Union (PMLU), said, "During Harish Rao’s budget speech, he used the word ‘sympathy' — that, ‘out of sympathy, we are considering to establish the Gulf welfare board’ ”. We don't need anyone’s sympathy. Gulf workers’ second largest remittance to India is to Telangana state."
Parkipandla added: "We keep reiterating that rehabilitation and reintegration of Gulf workers are important for development of the state. Many migrated to Gulf as unskilled and returned as skilled workers. It is important for the state to make use of those skills. The Gulf welfare board will help in the rehabilitation and reintegration of the Gulf workers."
Apart from Ravi and Parkipandla, the team consists of G. Muralidhar Reddy, Kuwait returnee and migrant rights activist; Nangi Devender Reddy, president, Telangana Gulf Workers’ Association (TeGWA); Jaligam Kumara Swamy, activist, Koheda, Siddipet district; and Perugu Mallikarjun, vice-president, Telangana Gulf Karmikula Sankshema Samiti (TGWWC) and would be visiting Kerala for three days from April 7-11.
The team would draft a study report based on the visit and submit it to the Telangana government on behalf of the civil society....