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Kerala Forms Forum to Link With Diaspora

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There was a need to bring all the people living abroad, under one roof and to give a common platform to expound their worries and tensions, share their advices and comments for the development of the state. Loka Kerala Sabha (LKS) can be role-model, which aims at utilising the know-how and expertise of NRKs for the growth of state….reports Aravind Rajeev

Governor Justice P Sadasivom, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, along with other leaders during the ‘Loka Kerala Sabha’ (LKS) meet.

Kerala has become a global state with Keralites living in almost all parts of the world. Many things connected to the State, be it things related to the Kerala culture, arts or even discussion about the development of the State are being conducted and performed in every places they live.

There was a need to bring all the people living abroad, the NRKs, under one roof and to give a common platform to expound their worries and tensions. Not only those, also advices and comments on the present state and for the future growth of Kerala.

Earlier, those who live outside the state were not asked for any suggestions in any of the initiatives regarding the state. But this union, through Loka Kerala Sabha (LKS), they aims at utilising the knowhow and expertise of NRKs for the development of various sectors of the state.

The ‘global assembly’ is being envisaged as a novel initiative to mine the global exposure and intellectual resources of the vast diaspora for the State’s development.

The ‘Loka Kerala Sabha’ has 351 members, including MLAs and MPs representing the state with 178 nominated members representing Kerala expatriates.

The thrust areas in which the state sought global expertise are fiscal management, agriculture, robotics, nano technology, molecular chemistry, water conservation, biotechnology and renewable energy.

The second day of the two-day conference discussed of the issues with the emigrants who return home after a long spell abroad, also the increasingly hostile labour policies in the countries result in forceful return of expatriates.

The medical aid, and pension schemes for the returnees and providing them with financial help to start business here, are very helpful and is urgent to be implemented soon.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said introducing the Kerala Development Fund during the meeting: “Expatriates could invest a fixed amount in the Kerala Development Fund and the diaspora, on return to the state,would have the right to get a suitable job in one institution. Schemes would be put in place to attract NRKs investments to the state, and a single window system would be introduced.”

He said, “LKS would have an advisory role without the powers of a legislature and its purpose is to play a vital role in engineering meaningful cooperation and work toward Kerala’s progressive development.”

“This sabha could be the vital link…, as all through the past several decades, the contribution of the Kerala diaspora through their remittances turned out to be the lifeline for the state.”

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi vijayan speaks during the inaugural ceremony of ‘Loka Kerala Sabha’ (LKS).

The excitement over the first-of-its-kind opportunity was evident in the recommendations that poured in from various Indian social clubs and charitable organisations. Many representatives spoke elaborately on the sad plight of NRKs from lower income groups and lack of mechanisms to support them.

“LKS assumes significance as we do not have any other platform to discuss NRK’s problems and find solutions. LKS members have great responsibility now,” said actress Revathy.

Novelist Benyamin opined that democratic countries have been adopting new development models and formation of LKS was praiseworthy in this backdrop.

This can be role model to other Indian states too, for the well being of the expatriates and well being of the state.

Now, the Sabha has been planned to meet once in two years. But as an initial gesture given from the first meet held in Thiruvananthapuram gives a lot positive to make good results very soon. And by considering its success and participation, it may change.

The main speciality of LKS is its structure. Legislators, Parliamentarians, Scientists, Teachers, Artists, Businessmen, Technocrats, Literary Laureates with roots here and drawn from diverse regions of the world in one single roof. It can become a well-functioning Legislature, or the most accurate decision making body for the growth of the state as well as the people residing here and abroad.

The LKS is giving opportunities for even commoners to interact with the ministers, legislators and government officials.

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