Pune: Dnyaneshwar Mulay, Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs (Passport, Visa and Overseas Affair) has cautioned Indians, who go abroad seeking job opportunities unauthorisedly and then get stuck in legal issues.
He said that MEA has organised a Pre-Departure Orientation Training (PDOT) for those going abroad for jobs to avoid such issues. As many as 19,000 Indians have taken advantage of the initiative since January this year, he said in Pune.
The Overseas Employment and Protector General of Emigrants Division of Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) convened the second Annual Protector of Emigrants Conference on Friday in Pune. Mulay was interacting with media after the conference.
During the conference, senior officers of MEA including Joint Secretary (CPV) Amrit Lugun, Joint Secretary (Admin) Amit Kumar, Joint Secretary and Protector General Emigrants MC Luther and Joint Secretary (OIA 1) Manish Gupta were also present.
The conference was attended by all the 10 protectors of emigrants from all over India, FRRO Mumbai and Pune, RPO Pune as well as other senior officers of MEA, who are concerned with issues concerning Indian emigrants abroad.
The overseas slogan of Protectors of Emigrants (POE) is ‘Videsh Mein Aapka Dost Bhartiya Dootawas’ (Indian embassy, home, away from home). It is the theme that specifically conveys that they take care of their workers irrespective of how they have gone or have fallen in that particular distress situation whether they are prisoners, abandoned by the employers or exploited or abused physically or mentally. The embassy provides facilities like medical or shelter, food or return ticket to send them back safely.
POE is also trying to make the state responsible and make them aware of the illegal emigrants issue and punish those involved in illegal activities because it is the responsibility of the state that no illegal or criminal activities would take place under their jurisdiction. Also, it is taking efforts to make people aware of the illegal ways or fake advertisements and employment opportunity and not to use these unfair means. POE has banned 630 illegal recruiter agencies and agents in the last 7 years and 35 this year.
Mulay said, “In the last four years, MEA ensures and promotes safe and legal migrations. The new initiative of MEA to empower the emigrants before departure by imparting them free Pre-Departure Orientation Training (PDOT) and liberalisation of Pravasi Bhartiya Bima Yojana (PBBY) scheme. This PDOT scheme has received an overwhelming response and more than 19,000 emigrants have undergone PDOT since its launch in January this year.”
“We have to make sure that people will go for overseas employment through a legal process and registered recruitment agencies and agents, to avoid the problems like frauds, wrong promises, abandonment, wages to contracts,” said Mulay.
“We have a website called e-migrate to assist people before they leave, we have PDOT, where we train them how to approach mission in distress, convey their problems, basic expressions, formalities of emigration and formalities after arrival at the destination,” said Dr Mulay.
In the last few years, issues like human trafficking have increased. Mostly children and women are illegally sent or sold overseas from states like Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and Maharashtra. One of the major issues raised during the conference is trafficking of housemaids from Mumbai. This year’s annual conference discussed the solutions to tackle the problems of emigrants and how they can use technology for the welfare, safety and security of the overseas Indians and also the need of strategies for increasing overseas employment through stakeholder partnership with workers receiving countries.