‘Rehabilitating them is government’s moral responsibility’

Society should wake up to the cause of expatriates, who are forced to return from Gulf countries following by different nationalisation processes, including Nitaqat, writer and political activist Sara Joseph has said.

Inaugurating a seminar on ‘Nitaqat and the future of pravasis,’ organised by the Indo-Arab Confederation Council here on Monday, she said that there was no point in expecting the government, which had failed to rehabilitate the victims of different development projects, to take up the cause of expatriates. “In fact, doing the needful to rehabilitate them is not the charity of the government, instead it is its moral responsibility,” she said.

Stating that the government should not forget the fact that remittance from the expatriates was the back bone of the State’s economy for the past three decades, Ms. Joseph said that it was the responsibility of society to pressurise the government to take necessary steps to rehabilitate the Gulf returnees. “Otherwise, the expatriates will soon be added to the ever-growing list of hapless people, who await justice and rehabilitation in the State,” she said.

The activist-writer, who maintained that a government, which had long lost its priority in terms of development was only ruling for the Corporates and not for the common man, who was yet to see his basic needs met. “They will promise you a high-speed corridor before they do the needful to ensure you drinking water,” she said.

Pointing out that land had long stopped to be the basic raw material for survival in the State and had become an object of transaction in the hands of capitalist forces, Ms. Joseph said that the governments had blatantly failed to do something about this. “Each political party is equally responsible for this,” she said.

Meagre allocation

The writer, who argued that the Rs.2 crore allocated for the rehabilitation of expatriates in the State budget was only peanuts compared to the task in hand, said that society should take up the cause of the Pravasis and pressurise the government to correct their measures in this very budget itself.

Council chairman Attakoya Pallikkandy, president M.V. Kunhamu, RAK Airways former manager Jahan Muhammed, Stree Chetana general secretary K.S. Jayasree and journalist C.A. Kareem spoke. Gulf returnee and social worker Hasan Thikkodi presented the topic.

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