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Kerala announces an NRI commission

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An NRI commission was finally set up by the Kerala government. Under the plan, a team of four members directed by a former judge of Indian High Court Justice P Bhavadas was declared as the commission.

The two out of four members of the current team are active NRI’s living abroad and other two are former NRIs in which two are either presently living in the UAE or have been living in the UAE in past.

The director of the NRIs Commission is Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, who is an Abu Dhabi-based doctor and head of VPS Healthcare are among the members. He is the one who appealed the Supreme Court of India to get voting rights to the NRIs.

Bhagwat Singh, a former President of the Sharjah Indian Association is the second member of the team. He currently lives in Kerala.

A Bahrain-based Journalist Sohan Baby and a former chairman of the Kerala state government’s Pravasi Welfare Board PMA Salam are the other members.

“The purpose of this commission will be to safeguard the interests of the NRIs and provide justice to their grievances. As the Director of this commission, I hope we will be able to do justice to all the NRIs and will strive hard in making this commission a way for them to reach out to various State and Central Government departments without any hassles,” says Vayalil.

The quasi-judicial body will report all concerns of the diaspora including clashes over properties and investments as well as fake recruitments. The commission will allow to involve a lawyer for the diaspora complainants to appear before the panel and the complainant need not waste his/her time for resolving issues. The commission will organize the meetings in every three month to estimate its activities.

Keralites are one of the vivacious expat communities across the Middle East and the rest of the world. Around 2.5 million Keralites live abroad and deport about Dh65 billion yearly which is a fourth of all allowance India receives from its migrant community yearly.

At current, local courts handle the labor and commercial disputes with some amount of support from NORKA -the Non-Resident Keralites Affairs Department, set up in 1996 by the Government of Kerala.(Inputs from agencies)

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Indian Catholic Nuns Call Out For Justice In Kerala

The protest, now in its sixth day in Kochi, Kerala's financial hub, is gathering momentum as the locals, activists, writers and politicians come out in support.

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Nuns hold placards during a protest demanding justice after an alleged sexual assault of a nun by a bishop in Kochi, in the southern state of Kerala, India. VOA

A group of Indian Catholic nuns are staging a rare street protest in the southern state of Kerala demanding justice after an alleged sexual assault of a nun by a bishop.

Police have called the bishop named in the complaint for a second round of questioning next week. The bishop has denied wrongdoing.

The case comes at a time when the Christian community, which accounts for 19 percent of the state’s population, is reeling under an erosion of trust as sexual abuse cases involving the clergy pile up.

Five priests were arrested last month in two different sexual assault cases, while last year, a Catholic priest who was trying to flee the country was arrested after a minor he is accused of having sex with gave birth.

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Catholic bishops in Chile resign over the issue of sex scandal. Pixabay

The nun in a letter said she wanted the Vatican to intervene. She said she was forced to make matters public after several attempts to seek justice from within the church failed.

The protest, now in its sixth day in Kochi, Kerala’s financial hub, is gathering momentum as the locals, activists, writers and politicians come out in support.

A man, who is on an indefinite hunger strike, lay in front of the stage where the protesting nuns sat. A nun coordinating the protest dismissed allegations that they were trying to disgrace the church.

“Our fight is for the truth. We will not back out unless the truth is established and the nun is given justice,” she told Reuters.

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Pope Francis. Pixabay

The Catholic Church in Germany acknowledged a “depressing and shameful” legacy of sexual abuse on Wednesday after a leaked study said clerics had abused thousands of children over 70 years.

Also Read: Drying Ganga Can Hinder India From Achieving SDG’s

The leaked study was published on the day that Pope Francis, who has made several attempts to tackle a spreading sexual abuse crisis that has badly tarnished the Church’s image worldwide, summoned senior bishops from around the world to the Vatican to discuss the protection of minors. (VOA)

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