Kerala

Help at hand 24x7

The Women NoRK cell at NORKA Centre functions as a single window system for dealing with issues faced by Keralite women working or residing abroad. S. Mahinsha | Photo Credit: S MAHINSHA
S. Anil Radhakrishnan THIRUVANANTHAPURAM 14 December 2019 23:29 IST
Updated: 14 December 2019 23:31 IST

Global Contact Centre set up by NoRKA Roots has helped expatriates seek assistance for services and register complaints

The round-the-clock Global Contact Centre, Pravasi Legal Aid Cell, and Women Non-Resident Keralite Cell set up this year by NoRKA Roots have come in handy for hundreds of Non-Resident Keralites in times of distress and in airing complaints and grievances.

As much as 1,28,658 expatriates from 31 countries have made use of the Global Contact Centre (GCC) since February 15 to seek assistance for various services and register complaints.

Expatriates from the State residing in any part of the world can give a missed called to the toll-free helpline 00918802012345. Within 30 seconds, a GCC executive will return the call to assist the expatriates. For those seeking assistance from the rest of the States, the services are available through 18004253939.

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The majority of the calls are for overseas recruitment avenues, services provided by NRI Commission, Non-Resident Keralites Welfare Board and NoRKA Roots, Kerala Police NRI Cell, Loka Kerala Sabha, rehabilitation programmes for ‘return emigrants’, passport, and details about Indian embassies and consulates.

Free services

“The services are free. This first-of-its-kind facility launched by a government department is a hit. Till December 12, the GCC has received 1,757 complaints and 28,793 live chats through the official website,” says Chief Executive Officer, NORKA Roots, K. Harikrishnan Namboothiri. The Pravasi Legal Aid Cell set up to provide free legal aid to NoRKs in various countries, especially in the Middle East, has received overwhelming response.

Legal assistance

NoRKA Roots has appointed legal consultants in all Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) to extend legal aid to expatriates serving jail term for minor offences. Employment issues, filing cases, and compensation and mercy petitions have also come up before the cell. An expatriate in distress or his/her immediate relatives or friends who hold valid documents can approach for legal assistance.

Another major initiative is the launch of the women NoRKA cell from the headquarters of NoRKA Roots at Thycaud here. Set up on the recommendation of the maiden Loka Kerala Sabha, the cell functions as a single-window system from August for dealing with issues faced by Keralite women working or residing abroad.

The cell has been tasked to take care of women’s safe and secure migration, create awareness and deal with their complaints.

The cell has come as a relief for women, especially those under the domestic service workers (DSW) category, who are vulnerable to harassment at workplaces. “We are getting on an average 12 calls daily. They are mainly about harassment at workplaces from those going abroad under the DSW category, adaptation and repatriation issues, and to clear doubts on employment abroad. We have intervened quickly in times of distress,” says NoRKA Cell nodal officer Parvathy G.S.

Besides women residing abroad, their family members back home can contact the cell for assistance over the phone (0471-2770540), by WhatsApp (9446180540) or by e-mail (womencell.norka @kerala.gov.in).

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