The origin of this idea dates back on the Message of Pope Benedict XVI on the occasion of ‘World Day of Migrants and Refugees, 2012’. This reads as follows: “Christina communities are to pay special attention to migrant workers and their families by accompanying them with prayer, solidarity and Christian charity, by enhancing what is reciprocally enriching, as well as by fostering new political, economic and social planning that promotes respect for the dignity of every human person, the safeguarding of the family, access to dignified housing, to work and to welfare”. Added with this the present influxes of labourers from Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal who take for granted as their “Gulf” = Kerala, as Gulf Countries was to Keralites up to recent years. Due to the sluggish global economy with plenty of risks due to geographical and economic instability during the recent years made the developed countries to reduce labour and cut short many development schemes which made our Gulf settlers to come back home. This was another cause. So it was decided to form a separate Ministry of the Migrants with the following general objectives and programmes. A Pravasi Desk was inaugurated on 21st December, 2013 at YMCA Hall, Thiruvananthapuram.
Pravasi Desk Objectives
Promote the dignity of labour according to the teachings of Christ and take pastoral care of workers, Uphold the rights of the working classes and educate employees and employers on labour laws, rights and duties, Ensure just wages and other remunerations for the welfare of the workers and their families especially employed within the Church and her institutions, Collaborate with labour movements, institutions and initiatives of government and voluntary bodies, To ensure employment protection and social upliftment of the employees both inland and foreign.
Pravasi Desk’s Programmes
Legal aid in collaboration with the Catholic Lawyers Guild and other volunteer lawyers on pro bono basis, Shelter in collaboration with St Vincent de Paul Society or similar associations, Financial aid where necessary, Language and skills training in collaboration with the help of Scalabrinians Sisters, Organizing the family members of the migrant works, Reintegration of the migrants and Establishment of migration information bureau under TSSS, Advocacy and Public Education in collaboration with the help of Scalabrinians Sisters, Networking and collaboration with Resident Keralites’ Welfare Board.
Pravasi Desk Achievements
Awareness classes on the Rights and benefits of Migrants in different forms of TSSS. In all foranes except Thoothoor Forane 4 classes, Accept filled in application forms of Migrants for ID Card, ‘Swanthwana’ Scheme, Insurance Scheme The forms filled in will be examined and the document requirement will be checked and on Saturdays the office will be contacted for registration with NORKA ROOTS, A high level meeting was held in the presence of Protection and Emigration Officer (POE). The focus of discussion was on the Emigration clearance of Migrants, On 26-05-2016 an Orientation Programme on ‘Migration & Human rights of Migrants’ was conducted for the TSSS Staff numbering 41. The programme was headed by Mr. Mohan Executive Officer of NORKA.