No takers for state's free ticket offer to Non Resident Keralites

NORKA-Roots had opened registration on its portal.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: There are no takers for the free tickets offered by the state government to NRKs who could not visit home for more than five years due to financial problems. The state government had announced the scheme in October last year on the assumption that many NRKs were unable to return home as they could not afford to buy air tickets.

“No one has yet applied for the scheme even as we opened a registration on NORKA-Roots portal and passed on the information through NRKs’ organisations abroad,” NORKA minister K.C. Joseph told DC.

It may be recalled that earlier, DC had reported the view of experts that it was not financial problems, but legal and social hurdles that mainly forced many NRKs not to come home for a long time.

"We never expected such a poor response as there were reports of NRKs facing acute financial problems. May be that the information regarding the scheme had not reached such people. Also a major chunk of those who are not returning could be held up in legal or job-related issues," said the minister.

Subsequent to the announcement of the scheme, NORKA-Roots had opened registration on its portal. The plan was to collect the details of those held up in the Gulf countries and issue free tickets on a priority basis considering factors like duration and causes for not returning.

Pravasi Bandhu Welfare Trust chairman K.V. Shamsudheen had earlier pointed out that many NRKs were overstaying in the Gulf countries without visa or proper documents. They would not be able to return just with a free ticket, but would require legal support, he had told DC.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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