A large number of people are living outside India. Among them a good percentage belongs to lower or middle income group. This large group of middle-lower income group faces many fundamental problems during their life in the Gulf/other foreign countries and and also when they return to their homeland. The saving habits and rehabilitation facilities available to them are not very promising. Similarly a good percentage of Keralites is living outside Kerala but within India for their being. These Non-Resident Keralites (NRKs-India) are also facing similar circumstances as the NRKs abroad.
Realising such circumstances, Kerala State came forward with a unique initiative, first of its kind in the country, to setup a welfare fund to provide welfare schemes to NRKs (abroad) and NRKs (in India). Kerala Non-Resident Keralites Welfare Board came in to existence under the Kerala Non-Resident Keralites’ Wlefare Act, 2008 passed in the Legislative Assembly, Government of Kerala. More than Two lakhs twenty five thousand NRKs are members in the welfare fund. NRKs abroad but now returned to India for permanent settlement after at least two years of foreign employment, can also avail membership in this Welfare Fund. The Act envisages many welfare schemes such as pension schemes, family pension schemes, medical aid, death assistance, etc.
The administration of the Welfare Board is vested in a 15 members, Welfare Board nominated by the Government. The constitution of the Board is per se, five directors representing Non Resident Keralites (abroad) two directors representing Non Resident Keralites (India) four officials representing the Government, one director representing Overseas Development and Employment Promotion Consultants Ltd, One representative from NORKA – Roots and one director nominated by the Government. One of the directors of the Board is appointed by the Government as Chairman.
In the case of persons who have remitted contributions continuously for a minimum period of three years and are unable to perform labour / incapable for undertaking any an employment due to conditions of physical deformity are eligible for an amount as Invalid Pension. For getting the Invalid Pension, the member is required to produce a certificate from the doctor who treated the member and also a certificate from the Medical Board.