An international labour award will be given to 12 Indian workers selected from different GCC countries by an Abu Dhabi-based radio channel.
The International Labour Awards will be conferred to 12 Keralites living in the UAE and other GCC countries.
Former Kerala Chief Minister V S Aachuthananthan shared the details of the award, whose winners will be announced on May 1, International labour Day.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Chandra Senan, Managing Director Pravasi Bharathi Broadcasting Corporation, said the winners will be given a token life-long pension of Rs1,000, which according to him is to encourage the Kerala Government to look into the rehabilitation and welfare of overseas Keralites who constitute a considerable chunk of the state’s population.
The common workforce is never recognised for their dedication and hard work and we are trying to recognise them, Senan said.
Workers from 12 different fields – plumbers, fitters, drivers, home nurses, domestic workers, ordinary workers, restaurant and cafeteria staff, supermarket staff, etc. will be selected through applications.
“Unlike other media who give awards to celebrities and businessmen and businesswomen, we thought of recognising the aam aadmi (common man) who constitute the majority of neglected expatriates,” said Senan, a seasoned radio personality.
Recommendations made by the channel’s listeners include suggestions to set up a Pravasi Bank, (expatriate bank) as 34 per cent of the expatriate remittances and deposits are with the private sector banks.
“A new expatriate bank with branches all over Kerala can also give employment opportunities to the Gulf returnees,” Senan said, quoting the suggestions. Another recommendation is to enhance the expatriate pension amount from Rs2,000 to Rs5,000, he added.
Many expatriates do not subscribe to the pension scheme of Kerala Government due to the lower pension amount, he added. As the cost of living has been going up, there is an urgent need to revise the pension amount, he said, adding that giving lifelong pension as part of the labour award is only a token gesture to encourage the government machinery to enhance the pension amount.