K.V. Shamsudheen, chairman of the Pravasi Bandhu Welfare Trust, United Arab Emirates, has urged the State government to create an online platform for collecting data on non-resident Keralites (NoRKs) living in Gulf countries.

In a statement here on Friday, he welcomed the announcement of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy that the government would take up a survey of NoRKs from May. However, the survey would be restricted to door-to-door visits.

The proposal was that the Department of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (NoRKA) would join the Centrally sponsored survey to be undertaken by the Department of Economic and Statistics. The department would introduce a questionnaire in addition to the format of the survey proposed at the national level.

Mr. Shamsudheen said that the government till now had no correct data on NoRKs in various countries, their financial condition, job profile or family status.

The online platform would thus help obtain correct statistics about earning members living abroad with their families.

A large number of NoRKs residing in the Gulf Cooperation Council nations would find it difficult to participate in the proposed survey. Many of their houses or apartments in the State were either unoccupied or given on rent. Certainly the majority of the NoRKs living with families would be financially sound compared to others.

However, he said, that a data without the information on all segments would not be complete.

Without comprehensive information, the government would not be able to implement NoRK welfare or rehabilitation programmes efficiently, Mr. Shamsudheen said.