Ex-gratia to COVID victims: Demand to include NRIs in official list
Dubai: Pressure is mounting to include Non-Resident Indians who died of Covid in Gulf countries in the official list of COVID victims in India. As many as 2000 Indians died of Covid infections in Gulf countries and a half among them are Malayalis. But these people who died abroad were not included in the official list in India or in Kerala. Neither the Indian government directed to include the deaths abroad in the official list nor the state government too took any measures to include the Covid fatalities in the state's list. Various pravasi outfits have moved the apex court on this.
The first death of Keralite due to Covid was reported in Gulf and not in Kerala. Many Malayalis have lost their lives due to Covid in Gulf countries. No statistics are available on the number of Keralites who died in foreign countries due to Covid so far. Most of the Covid deaths outside India were ordinary people. Many bodies were not even brought to their native place. The bodies were cremated there itself as per the Covid protocol prevailing in that country.
Though the Union government and the Kerala government have announced various packages to the families of Covid victims, there is a lack of clarity to review the fatalities outside the country. Though the SC has asked the centre to intimate on financial assistance to be given to the families of Covid victims, there is concern on the statistics on fatalities recorded outside the country.
The main concern is to include the families of deceased expatriates in the beneficiary list. The various Pravasi outfits have approached the apex court with this demand and are yet to get a concrete reply. The list of Covid fatalities abroad has to be placed before the apex court and for that a list from the state government including the names of Malayalis who died of Covid must be ready. This is the request by the Pravasi outfits.