Santhwana during testing times
A four-in-one scheme that has come in handy for expatriates, their kin
With indications of a reverse migration from Gulf nations, several rehabilitation schemes launched by the State Government through Norka Roots are lending a helping hand to the returnees, especially those belonging to the low-income strata in Malabar.
Time and again the Government has taken several measures in the wake of exodus of migrants from the Gulf.
While the training programmes and NDPREM (NoRKA Department Project for Returned Emigrants) launched for the returnees have provided solace to a certain section of the emigrants, particularly those who have little to talk of savings after sweating out in desert lands, the real beneficiaries are the returnees of the Santhwana financial assistance scheme.
Five years ago, when N.T. Kasim, who was working as a driver in Saudi Arabia, returned to his village at Neeleswaram in Mukkom municipality in Kozhikode, he had meagre savings for everyday expenses. All his savings was spent on constructing a modest house and he still had to maintain his family, including his wife and three grown-up children.
Adding to his woes, his became a renal patient. “The department offered a one-time financial assistance for medical expenses. Now I am on dialysis after chronic renal failure,” said the 60-year diabetic.
After his health condition worsened, Mr. Kasim was unable to take up employment in his home town. Despite his financial status, he was able to marry off his two daughters, he said.
The case of 45-year-old Bushara of Kuttiyadi in Kozhikode is also no different. Life has been extremely upsetting for her after the sudden demise of her husband, Abdul Salam, who was doing odd jobs in Dubai and Muscat two years ago.
“Through the Santhwana scheme, the family received a lump-sum amount that helped the family to repay the loans and meet his hospital expenses. The temporary measure helped them,” his older brother Soopy Ahamed said.
The scheme provides four types of financial assistance to NoRKs or their dependents. These are to meet the medical treatment expenses of the NoRKs or their dependant family members; death assistance to family members of the NoRK; marriage expenses of daughter of the NoRK returnee; and to buy artificial limbs, crutches, wheel-chair or other aid to overcome physical disability.