In order to help the returned NRKs to find a reasonable steady income for their livelihood, Government have started the rehabilitation package called NDPREM (Norka Department Project for Returned Emigrants). Under this scheme NORKA ROOTS entered into MoUs with major banks namely State Bank of India, South Indian Bank and Union Bank. Presently Kerala State Backward Classes Development Corporation and Kerala State Pravasi Welfare Development – Co-operative Society [PRAVASIS Ltd.] have signed MOU and are associating with the project. Banks will sanction loans for starting modest enterprises in areas of interest of the returned NRKs.
NORKA ROOTS releases capital subsidy of 15% of the project cost, subject to a maximum of Rs. 20 lakhs and interest subsidy of 3% for the first 4 years, to those beneficiaries who are regular in payment. In case of default, the benefit can be availed only if the beneficiaries clear off his/her dues. NORKA ROOTS also conducts orientation and training camps prior to screening and selection to boost the managerial capabilities of the entrepreneurs. NRK returnees interested to start enterprises under NDPREM scheme may register their details.
According to the Kerala Migration Survey, there are 22 lakh migrant workers from Kerala, 90% are in Gulf Cooperation Council countries. On 6th December 1996, Government of Kerala launched the Department of Non Resident Keralite’s Affairs (NORKA) to redress the grievances of non resident Keralites both in India and abroad and to have a sustainable partnership with them. NORKA is the first Department of its kind in India.
NORKA ROOTS is a public sector undertaking under the Department. The Department has no Directorate, instead NORKA ROOTS implements the welfare schemes for the Government. In addition NORKA ROOTS is licensed by Protector General of Emigrants as a licensed recruiting agency. NORKA coordinates efforts for remedial action on threats to the lives and property of those who are left at home, for tracing missing persons abroad, for obtaining compensation from sponsors for taking action on cheating by recruiting agents and other such grievances of Non-Resident Keralites (NRKs). It provides assistance to evacuate NRKs from strife torn areas and to transport them to their home towns.
NORKA attestation centres in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode provide attestation facilities of educational qualification documents. The Home Attestation officer attached to the Secretariat at Thiruvananthapuram can provide attestation of certificates of birth and death, residence, marriage certificates etc.