Kerala gears up to meet expats rush from Saudi

TRIVANDRUM - Kerala is gearing up to receive thousands of expatriates driven out by Saudi Arabia to ensure job to its citizens.

By (T K Devasia)

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Published: Sun 31 Mar 2013, 11:50 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 4:13 PM

While the state government and various political parties are mounting pressure on the federal government to use its good relations with the Kingdom to avert a large scale exodus of expatriates, a private agency has already come out with a package to rehabilitate the hapless returnees.

Ma’din Academy, a charitable institution based in Malappuram, has announced a package that include establishment of a Centre for Life-long Learning in association with Hamburg-based Unesco Institute for Life-long Learning to equip the returnees to find jobs in the country and abroad.

Under the package, the academy would be honing the skills of the returnees through training programmes, counselling, career guidance, soft-skill development workshops and family orientation camps. Academy chairman Sayyid Ibrahimul Khaleeulu Bukhari and Muhammed Noufal, director of the Centre for Life-long Learning told reporters that the Academy would use the facilities available in its various educational institutions, including the ITI and Polytechnic to provide training to the returnees. It will be introducing short-term courses in civil, mechanical, computer, Electrical, Automobile and mechatronics fields to help the returnees to make use of job opportunities available in these sectors.

Bukhari said Madin would also create awareness about investment options available in the small and cottage sectors in collaboration with the concerned departments. Those interested in the programme have been asked to contact 9048140233.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has sought to quell apprehensions about large scale exodus from Saudi on account of the Nitaqat system being implemented by the Kingdom to ensure jobs to the Saudi nationals.

He told reporters here on Saturday that the state government was trying to avert such an exodus using the good relations India maintains with the Saudi. He said he was already in touch with the concerned federal ministers in this regard.

“At the moment, there is no cause for panic over the labour issues in Saudi Arabia. We are confident that on account of the excellent diplomatic and trade relations that we have with Saudi Arabia, things can be sorted out,” Chandy told reporters at a hurriedly called press conference. The chief minister said the government would also draw up a special package to rehabilitate those who are returning to the state. The government has initiated consultations with concerned agencies in this regard, he added.

Opposition Communist Party of India (Marxist) has urged Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to send a high level delegation to Saudi to protect the interest of Indians affected by the Saudisation programme. Party state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said that the exodus due to Nitaqat would affect the livelihood of thousands of people in the state. He has also demanded federal assistance for rehabilitating the returnees. Congress spokesman M M Hassan said Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala had written a letter to Prime Minister seeking his intervention to prevent large scale exodus.

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