Expressing concern over plight of temporary migrants abroad, President Pranab Mukherjee on called for upgrading of skills of those seeking jobs overseas saying this section contributes a major chunk to Indian remittance. On vulnerabilities of expat Indians, especially Indian women marrying into NRI families, he said Indian community organisations abroad can most effectively address their concerns even as the government and its agencies deal with this issue.
He called upon NRIs to visit their home country to train young Indians with professional and technical education of highest standards. Addressing the valedictory function of the 14th edition of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here, Mukherjee said, “With regards to temporary migrants going abroad in search of employment, it will also be prudent that attention is paid towards their skill upgrade.”
Referring to NRIs who are temporary migrants in the Gulf region and South East Asia, he said, “They are Indian citizens who migrate for employment as low-skilled and semi-skilled labour. They toil hard day and night and save to sent the fruits of their labour as remittances to India, to maintain their families back home.”
These remittances are the largest by any diaspora at 12 per cent of the total global remittances, amounting to USD 69 billion in 2015, he said.
“Many of them are likely to return to India, but while they live abroad, all of them are vulnerable in many ways owing to the fact that they do not enjoy privilege of citizenship in their host country,” he said. This is especially true of people working in areas of strife and conflict, with their security and physical wellbeing on the line, he said and commended the efforts of multiple ministries and organisation in bringing back of fellow countrymen from strife-torn nations.
The President also talked about e-migrate platform introduced since 2014 for efficient and transparent recruitment of ’emigration check required (ECR)’ category of Indian workers.
“Such initiatives will surely help in protecting the rights of our workers proceeding abroad and ensure accountability of recruitment agents in India and their foreign employers,” he added.
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