Congress brings various NRK groups under one umbrella

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 28 (Calcutta Tube) The Kerala unit of the Congress has formed the Overseas Indian Cultural Congress (OICC) as the first step in bringing the various non-resident Indians of the state under one umbrella.

The OICC, comprising various organisations based outside the country pertaining to Non Resident Keralites (NRKs) will have its first meeting here Friday.

State Congress president Ramesh Chennithala had made several trips to various Middle East countries to unite the various cultural groups. It was decided to hold a two-day meeting of representatives from various organisations from these countries.

State Congress party secretary Mannar Abdul Latheef, who is the organiser of the meet, said 250 delegates from various Middle East countries, the US and Germany will take part in the first meeting Friday.

‘This is the first time that the Congress is taking the lead to form a cohesive organisation which will function under a common by-law and a proper organisational structure for all the units in the various countries. Among the various issues that will come for discussion in the two-day meeting would be the efforts to see that the combined might of the NRKs is channelised for the development of our state,’ said Latheef.

Those who will lead the various sessions include union ministers Vayalar Ravi and Mukul Wasnik, besides state Congress leaders K. Karunakaran, Chennithala and Oommen Chandy.

The session would also include a talk by S. Irudayarajan, who heads the Migration Unit at the Centre for Development Studies in Thiruvananthapuram.

Leading NRKs who won the Pravasi Bharatiya and Padma Awards will be felicitated on the second day of the meeting.

Once the OICC formally comes into shape, its representatives would be made invited members in the state executive of the Congress.

Currently, there are more than two million NRKs who are settled outside the country, of which a giant majority is in the Middle East and over the years, their contributions as remittances, which have crossed Rs.25,000 crore, now comprise about 20 per cent of the state’s net domestic product and 30 percent more than the state’s annual receipts.

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