Karnataka NRI Forum deputy chairperson Dr Arathi Krishna highlights initiatives, challenges

Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru (VP)

Mangaluru, Jul 4: Dr Arathi Krishna, deputy chairperson of the Karnataka NRI Forum, discussed the provision of insurance for blue-collar workers and the creation of a Karnataka NRI database to assist in times of difficulty, on the much-talked about Daijiworld TV programme ‘Walkie-Talkie’.

On the benefits available for NRIs and how they can approach the central or state government, Dr Arathi explained, “The NRI Forum was established during B S Yediyurappa’s tenure, and six years after its formation, I took charge. I plan to organize 'Pravasi Kannadiga Divas' to bring all Karnataka NRIs together. There is a misconception that all NRIs are wealthy. Therefore, we will issue NRK cards and offer insurance schemes for those who have lost their jobs, and for blue-collar workers who send their earnings back to India. We also plan to provide interest-free loans to NRIs interested in business and funding for cultural programmes abroad. In cases where someone dies in another country, it is challenging for their family to arrange the funds to repatriate the body. I have previously used Welfare Scheme funds to help bring bodies back to their families in India. We have also established the DC Welfare Committee, which includes a dedicated office for NRIs.”

When asked about raising public awareness regarding NRI offices, Dr Arathi stated, “Public awareness is essential. We will use media and social media to inform not only NRIs but also their families. Usually, we only learn about our citizens in other countries when an issue arises. To address this, we need a proper database, and during the census, if we gather information about NRIs, it will help us get an approximate figure from the gram panchayat level.”

On the topic of NRI voting rights, Dr Arathi said, “I have advocated for voting rights for all NRIs, either online or at the embassy, even including this in the Congress manifesto. NRIs often gain citizenship in other countries, but those in Gulf countries are deprived of voting rights as they cannot easily return to India.”

Addressing concerns about flight shortages and NRIs being treated as smugglers by Customs officers, Dr Arathi noted, “There are numerous complaints about the shortage of flights from Kuwait and issues with customs officers at Mangaluru airport. This problem should be addressed to the civil aviation ministry and airport authorities, and we have written a letter through the chief minister to address this issue.”

When questioned about the need for an official representative and the responsiveness of embassy officials, Dr Arathi responded, “We have decided to unite all Karnataka associations under a single structure within the NRK Forum, selecting one representative from among them. Regarding embassy officials, I am aware of the problems, as I have worked closely with them. Embassy officials often work under heavy pressure, which is why the NRK Forum is necessary.”

Reflecting on her efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic despite not being a minister, Dr Arathi shared, “I have long been involved in helping NRIs and have supported many people in the past. During COVID-19, people from all over India sought my help. Charter flights needed clearance from both other countries and India, and I wrote many letters to embassies for this purpose. During the Russia-Ukraine war, I assisted 5,000 students in returning home, staying in constant contact with them until they reached the airport. I also helped the Hakki Pikki tribe members who were stranded in Sudan. My service has connected me with many officials, which continues to be beneficial.”

Addressing the issue of Indian citizens in Cambodia and Vietnam being scammed by fellow Indians, Dr Arathi said, “After taking office, I encountered issues related to Cambodia, where Chinese scam firms near the borders lure Indian citizens and force them into scamming others. I have personally rescued two people from Karnataka.”

When asked about being recommended as an MP and her experience with the Congress party, Dr Arathi stated, “Currently, I am the deputy chairperson of the Karnataka NRI Forum and AICC secretary in charge of the Indian Overseas Congress. My father was also a minister, and when Indira Gandhi contested elections from Chikkamagaluru, my father would take me to meet her. After my studies, I went to America for further education and later joined their embassy. I have always wanted to help people, and whether I am a minister or not, I will continue to focus on helping others.”

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Comment on this article

  • Praveen, Mangalorean

    Thu, Jul 04 2024

    Why are other flights still not coming to Mangalore International Airport? only AIR INDIA EXPRESS land here?

    Reply Report Abuse

  • Rita, Germany

    Thu, Jul 04 2024

    Praveen Mangalore,other flights to land in mangalore is the place too small for international flights,to take many times rounds etc.Should also be enough Interanational Passengers Important lack of place .Since many years it is not improved .

    Reply Report Abuse

  • robert pinto, bangalore

    Thu, Jul 04 2024

    no direct flight for kuwait to mangalore,onlykept sundayits no use ..everyone coming via bomaby ...no MLA or MP take action ..its diffults for everyone ...

    Reply Report Abuse

  • Alwyn, Mangalore

    Thu, Jul 04 2024

    Enjoy some time in Amchi Mumbai...

    Reply Report Abuse

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Title: Karnataka NRI Forum deputy chairperson Dr Arathi Krishna highlights initiatives, challenges

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