GULF KARNATAKA FORUM MEETS MLA U.T. KHADER DURING HIS PRIVATE VISIT TO DUBAI


Report & Photo: Shodhan Prasad

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Dubai:24October, 2011: Gulf Karnataka Forum Dubai hosted a dinner meet with young and dynamic MLA & Secretary of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee U.T. Khader at Praveen Shetty’s Fortune Plaza Hotel in Al Ghusais, Dubai yesterday the 24th of October, 2011 from 8 PM onwards.  The meet was attended by Media personality Herman Lewis, Business man Afroz Assadi, BG Mohandas of Gulf Kannadiga.com/Ex-President of Karnataka Sangha Dubai, Mark Denis, Business man and Patron of Sharjah Karnataka Sangha, James Mendonca, Business man & President of Mangalore Konkans, Praveen Shetty, MD of Fortune Group of Hotels, Banker Siraj Ahmed, Noel D. Almeida, Ex-President of Sharjah Karnataka Sangha, Krishnaraj Tantry, Vice President of Karnataka Sangha Dubai and many other dignitaries of various regional associations of Karnataka in UAE including other Kannadigas serving in various organization.

 

 

 

Radio Spice CEO, Herman Lewis, the man behind Gulf Karnataka Forum, welcomed the guests and introduced U.T. Khader who is the son of well known Congressman, 4 times MLA from Ullal, U.T. Fareed.  Herman briefed on the achievements of Khader being President of Youth Congress, All College Student Union, as a Foot ball player and Winner of Motor Cross.  He also highlighted Khader’s involvement and interest taken up in the Underground Drainage System in Ullal, Drinking Water project of Thumbe, School for Minorities, Ladies Hostel, Residential School & College, Tourism, and Hospital up gradation etc.

MLA U T Khader was selected for the current post with the approval of All India Congress president Sonia Gandhi.  He was also selected as district NSUI secretary in 1990, NSUI president in 1993, state NSUI vice-president in 1995, and senate member of Mangalore University. From 2000 onwards, he has served as Ullal Block Congress President, National trainer of Akhila Bharatha Congress Sevadala, Karnataka state Seva Dal leader, KPCC member, and MLA of Mangalore South. He has also been active in various social associations.

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking to the Kannadigas assembled in a short notice, U.T. Khader thanked all the people of Karnataka and particularly from Coastal for their rich contribution to motherland in various ways.  Having come to Gulf for their living, these people have brought in so much of changes in the society and living standards by involving themselves in the charity towards education, homes for the poor, medical help and so on whole heartedly.  This kind of service to the society is really commendable, he said which otherwise should have been done by the government itself.  He requested Kannadigas living in the Gulf to provide him advice, suggestions on any development programmes, which he will shoulder to take it forward with the Government bodies back in India.  He briefed about the difficulties faced by our fore fathers who have sacrificed a lot not only in upbringing their children but also to keep our society in unity with whatever small resources they had.  He added that still there is a lack of educational institutions for the poor children in our home town and no facilities are provided for them yet.  He stressed that we need to think about that and develop some programme as a duty towards mankind.  He spoke about Dubai and its speed of development which should be taken as an example to our region and work towards the development there too in similar way.  He also added that ‘we should help community but should not be communal’, instead work shoulder to shoulder like brothers irrespective of our different communities and cite an example to others by leading our youth towards right path.  He said oneness is the main requirement to share our ‘sanskriti’ and told that there is a wrong signal going to the outside world about communal differences.

His main agenda is to let NRI’s know about the ‘right to vote’ programme initiative, taken currently and he distributed ‘Form 6A’ application needed for inclusion of name in electoral roll for an overseas elector along with the guidelines.  He was surprised why the Embassy of India did not distribute these to the NRI’s here.  He requested that these forms be distributed widely to all NRI’s here so that they can make better use of their rights in future.

Click on the link below to download the said form:

http://www.google.ae/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=form+6a&source=web&cd=4&ved=0CDMQFjAD&url=http://eci.nic.in/eci_main/nri/Form-6A.pdf&ei=OIymTsb9K4KEOpPqxPgP&usg=AFQjCNHs2jP_WoW25tqR7Fhw9-oYlveVrA

Citing two good examples on the lighter note he wished everyone good health and wealth while once again requesting Kannadigas to write him directly on any grievances they may have without any hesitation.  He promised to take up the matter forward and said will positively work towards providing justification as far as possible.

Followed was a question and answer session and some of the main points raised were:-

Q.1. Rajesh Sequeira – “What are the developments on Mangalore Airport Extension project?”

Ans. : It is still with the Civil Aviation Ministry who are waiting for the land acquisition for the said project which has faced some delay.  But he will take up this with the Central and follow-up with priority.

Q.2. Kasim Ahmed – “Why Karnataka has no scheme for Gulf NRI’s in education or investment opportunities unlike the neighbouring Kerala Governments?’

Ans.: Khader said ‘yes’ I do understand the situation and will look into this in the forthcoming assembly and will see that it will be considered and implemented soon.

Q.3 James Mendonsa / BG Mohandas /Herman Lewis – ‘What happened to the NRI Cell and Capt. Ganesh Karniks’ proposal – where does it stand now? – BG added ‘please look into us as poor Kannadiga NRI’s and don’t give assurances like other visiting Ministers have done in the past but in vain’ Do we need to follow-up or they should take it as priority?  Herman added that ‘we were assured of seats for NRI students, Insurance Policy for repatriation etc., but nothing happened until now on those issues? Why?

Ans.: Khader replied that he would request Gulf Kannadiga Forum to put in writing all the points in one format and hand over this to him which he will on a priority basis take up with the concerned authorities back in India.  He assured that he will definitely get an answer to all those questions in writing.

Q.4 Mark Denis – He said I have 2 questions “(1) why no other airlines operating on Mangalore route other than Air India Express?  (2)Why only 20 Kgs. baggage allowance while flying back from Mangalore and only 30 Kgs. allowance while flying from Dubai?

Ans.: Rajesh Sequeira clarified that other airlines have already lined up in this sector and the Authorities will declare the status soon.

There were several other questions on ‘why still no international status’ for Mangalore Airport though we have Sea Port, Railways etc.  In whole of Karnataka there is only one international airport whereas in the neighbouring state there are many.  There were issues relating to pension scheme to NRI’s, rehabilitation schemes, investment schemes etc. raised by many.

U.T. Khader replied that he will take up this matter seriously in the forthcoming assembly session through the existing Committee assigned for similar grievances.  He added that he will raise voice on behalf of NRI’s and their concerns, follow-up until he gets proper justification.  He said he received lot of information by this meet which otherwise would not have.  Hence thanked everybody for bringing this to light.

In conclusion Herman agreed to put all the grievances of Gulf NRI’s point to point in one and handover to U.K. Khader expecting a MLA will see to it positively this time in getting justice which other past visiting Ministers failed in doing so.  He requested Khader that there should be a NRI Cell for those workers coming out to Gulf from their native, which should educate them as to how to come to Gulf, understand the rules and regulations of the country they go as an expatriate and come completely prepared rather than fall into problems later.  He reminded of the promise given by the then Police Commissioner of D.K. who visited some time ago on the Help Centre for NRI back in Mangalore.  Also discussed were the Insurance Schemes to NRI’s when they return home like the one’s the neighbouring state have currently.

Shodhan Prasad did the vote of thanks while everybody enjoyed Mangalorean style buffet dinner which was arranged to all those who gathered for the meet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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