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NORKA to set up scholarship scheme for Non-Resident Keralites

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 15 (): The department of Non-resident Keralites’ Affairs (NORKA), first of its kind in the country to redress the grievances of Non-resident Keralites was launched on Dec 6, 1996 by the government of Kerala.

It is an agency aimed at the strengthening of relations between the Non-Resident Keralites (NRKs) and the government of Kerala; it is the culmination of efforts for working out solutions to problems faced by NRK community. It is also an attempt at institutionalizing the administrative agenda.

NORKA makes efforts to solve the grievances raised in petitions for remedial action on threats to the lives and property of those who are left at home, tracing of missing persons abroad, compensation from sponsors, and harassment from sponsors, cheating by recruitment agencies, and educational facilities for children of NRKs etc. The authorities of state government/government of India are being directed to take immediate suitable action on them.

In its attempt to address the varied issues of NRKs, NORKA has now planned to institute a scholarship scheme for the children of non-resident Keralites. The scholarship is an initiative of NORKA director board members M.A. Yusaf Ali and C.K. Menon.

The project will be given final shape within one month, NORKA CEO Noel Thomas told Wednesday. “The organization will set aside a sum of Rs 50 lakh for the purpose this year. About 1000 students will benefit from the scholarship initially,” Noel said. The sum will be set aside from the ‘NORKA Directors’ Fund’.

“The money for the scholarship fund will be collected from NRI businessmen. The eligible persons will be chosen based on the financial status of the parents. The details for this will soon be finalised,” he added.

Additionally, NORKA has established NORKA Roots that acts as a counsel for the non-resident Keralites and an agency, the Non-Resident Keralites Welfare Agency to implement schemes for the welfare and benefit of NRKs, to channelise their expertise and resources. As an agency, it looks to take up more activities in all spheres connected with NRKs and their problems.