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- After Corona, 12.32 Lakh People Returned To Kerala From Gulf Countries, 90% Of Them Unemployed; Difficult to pay even a home loan
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KochiA minute agoAuthor: Gaurav Pandey
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- 40 lakh people of Kerala live abroad, they send 80 thousand crore rupees every year, but last year 20 thousand crores came down
- Returning from Bahrain, Rajesh Anand says that 70% of the people of Kerala work in Gulf for less than 40 thousand rupees a month.
A resident of Thrissur in Kerala, Mahim Ahmed used to drive a taxi in Qatar until a year ago. Corona arrived and Qatar also had a lockdown. Mahim says that with the lockdown, our work also stopped. Three months’ salary was not received. In the room where I lived, there was a man from UP, second from Pakistan and third from Bangladesh. To spend three months in a room with four people has been like a prison sentence. Somehow food was available for one time. Finally, under Vande India, I was able to come to Kerala and now after a long struggle I got work, driving a taxi here. ‘
This story is not just about Mahim, but there are millions of people in Kerala who have been forced to return to Kerala from Gulf countries due to Corona. Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (NORKA), a Kerala-based government institution, also helps with keeping records of people who have gone out of Kerala for work. Rajesh, manager of Norca Central in Ernakulam, says that as of March 21, 2021, 12.32 lakh people from Gulf countries have returned to Kerala. These are the people who are registered in Norka, the rest is not a figure. Apart from these, many people have lost jobs in Gulf countries. They also want to return.
Due to Corona, a large number of migrants from Kerala stranded in the Gulf countries came back under the Vande Bharat Mission. After coming back from Gulf Countries, getting employment here is a new challenge for him.
Rajesh says that the biggest problem facing the returned people is that of jobs. For those who have returned, there is also the challenge of starting new work here. Norka is also giving loans to such people for business. Norka is getting a maximum loan of up to 20 lakh rupees. There is also a subsidy of up to three lakh rupees. We are giving this loan for four years at an interest rate of only 3%. Norka has tied up with 12 banks to provide loans to the needy. So far, more than 1500 people have taken loans.
Rajesh Anand, a resident of Kochi, was working in the IT sector in Bahrain for 20 years. Apart from this, he has also worked on different projects in several Gulf countries. He also returned to Kerala from a flight to India during the Corona era. He has been working here since then. Now he has lost his heart in work here.
Anand has also started a project in Bangalore about digital transformation. His company name is Signature World. Anand says, “It is a great pleasure to return to India and work. There is a lot of scope in India, nothing in Gulf, right now all foreign companies are looking towards India. India is such a big market, I have now understood that it used to take a lot of time for my project for which I used to stay in Gulf and asked for funding from outside. But I have got immediate funding from Japan for the project I have just started. Right now there are 14 people working in my team.
Rajesh Anand, who works in Bahrain’s IT sector, also returned to Kerala due to Corona. Rajesh believes that India has more opportunities than Gulf countries at this time. Recently he has also started a project in Bengaluru.
Anand says that Corona has had a terrible impact on Gulf countries as well. In a country like Bahrain, the situation of Indians has deteriorated significantly. Bahrain has become hell, you cannot serve there. People from Kerala go to Gulf just to get a good lifestyle. But, most people get labor work. Some work as a plumber, some operate a taxi, some work in an oil factory. 70% of the people from here work for less than 40 thousand rupees a month. Yes, only the people of Kerala do the top most jobs there. But 90% people do blue collar jobs. People of Kerala or people of the rest of the country go to Gulf because they stay away from all the truths, come back and get some good life with family.
Dr. Dhanuraj, chairman of the Center for Public Policy Research (CPPR), says that 40 lakh people of Kerala live abroad, they send 80 thousand crores rupees to Kerala every year. Last year, 20 thousand crore rupees came. This has also reduced the money in the Kerala market. Of those who have returned, 90% are unemployed here. There is no industry in Kerala. Here all the money comes from abroad, here you get high quality service because people have Gulf money. You get luxury hotels, resorts, restaurants, bars here because people have money from outside.
Doctor Dhanuraj explains that the biggest impact of people’s withdrawal from the Gulf has been on the society, there is a large-scale social interest, because people have lost jobs. Banks are also in trouble, because many people have taken loans in Gulf from buying a car to building a house, now they do not have the money to repay the loan.
Dhanuraj points out that 70% of the job in Kerala is in the service sector. Here 5.5 lakh people work in government jobs, while around 8 lakh people work in the private sector. After Corona, all the people working in the hotel, tourism, industry sector have lost their jobs, but the government has not given any data for this.
Dr. Dhanuraj, chairman of the Center for Public Policy Research (CPPR), states that 4 million people in Kerala live abroad. They send 80 thousand crore rupees to Kerala every year. 20 thousand crore rupees came last year. This has also reduced the money in the Kerala market.
According to the state’s Finance Minister Thomas Isaac, the corona has lost Rs 1.56 lakh crore to Kerala. At the same time, Chief Minister Vijayan claims that his government has generated 1.2 lakh new jobs. However, Dhunraj says that no one knows where these jobs have come and who they have got, because there is a huge job crisis in the state.
Rajesh of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (NORKA) says that the government has given Rs 5,000 to 1.22 lakh people who returned to the state from Gulf. With this, the government has also given a subsidy of Rs 14 crore for 712 Ventures to help the migrant people start their own business, but this amount is too low to give employment to the migrants.
Mohammad Shabbir from Kannur returns from UAE. He had been working there for 40 years, with Shabbir driving a taxi there and also a grocery shop, but Corona has forced him to leave everything and return to Kerala. Now he is unable to meet his daily expenses here. Shabbir has taken a home loan as well as the bank installment, but all the savings have been exhausted. He wants to return to the UAE again, but being able to go back and start work again is nothing short of a surprise for him.
The story of Mahim, Rajesh Anand and Mohammed Shabbir in Kerala is the story of millions of people, who are struggling to start a new life in this difficult time.