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Andhra body to help overseas NRIs

The Overseas Manpower Company will assist NRI job seekers in passports, visas, and tickets.

india Updated: Mar 07, 2006 16:18 IST

In an attempt to end the exploitation of gullible aspirants of overseas jobs by unscrupulous agencies, Andhra Pradesh has launched a public sector undertaking to help in their placement abroad.

Overseas Manpower Company Andhra Pradesh (OMCAP) Limited, launched by Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy here Monday evening, would assist job seekers by coordinating passports, visas, air tickets and organising occupational competency certificates.

Describing the move as "a dream come true", the chief minister noted that cheating by agents resulted in candidates going to the Gulf on fake documents or visit visas landing in trouble soon after reaching the destination and also finding it difficult to come back.

The company would also enhance their employability by offering coaching in personality development and spoken and written English and by educating them on the profile of the prospective employer country with special reference to its laws and rules.

Officials said about 300,000 youths were going abroad for jobs annually from the state, the second largest supplier of overseas manpower after Kerala.

Minister for Labour G. Vinod said the candidates could feel secure while dealing with OMCAP as it was a government body.

"The OMCAP through its own network will identify overseas employment opportunities, and see that those employed in a foreign country led their life without any headache," he said.

The undertaking, however, would charge a fee for its services - Rs.750 for registration valid for two years, Rs.10,000 or one-month salary for placement. Officials said 63 candidates registered their names with the corporation on the inaugural day.

A study group headed by Minister for Information and Public Relations Mohammed Ali Shabbir had visited Dubai and some other places in the Gulf and found that a large number of people from the state who were cheated by the brokers were either landing in jail or begging on the roads. Some had even committed suicide and their bodies were lying unclaimed in mortuaries.

According to the report by the study group, 80 Indian workers committed suicide in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) alone during 2005 and of them, 53 were from Andhra Pradesh. He said several poor families were not even in a position to bring the bodies here for cremation.

The state government has also promised to form the Overseas Welfare Fund shortly to help migrant workers in distress, to extend financial assistance to bring the bodies and meet any other contingencies.

According to the 2001 census, NRIs from Andhra Pradesh constituted the second largest community, numbering about one million in Gulf countries. Kerala has 1.5 million NRIs working in the Gulf region.

Saudi Arabia hosts the highest number of NRIs from Andhra Pradesh -- around 500,000, followed by UAE with 250,000, Kuwait 80,000, Oman 65,000, Qatar 35,000 and Bahrain 25,000.

First Published: Mar 07, 2006 16:18 IST