Overseas Indian workers duped by unscrupulous intermediaries in the host countries, runaway housemaids, those who become victims of accidents, deserted spouses of overseas Indians, undocumented workers in need of emergency assistance or any other overseas Indian citizen who is in distress can now look forward to assistance from the Government of India.
The Indian Government has set up Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) in Indian missions abroad to help overseas Indians in times of distress.
The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in New Delhi has set up the ‘Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF)’ in the Indian Missions in 17 Emigration Clearance Required (ECR) countries for meeting contingency expenditure incurred by the Missions for the welfare of Indians. The Fund (ICWF) is aimed at providing the following services to the most deserving cases:
(1) Boarding and lodging for distressed and/or stranded overseas Indian workers in Household / domestic sectors and unskilled labourers;
(2) Extending emergency medical care to the overseas Indians in need;
(3) Providing air passage to stranded overseas Indians in need;
(4) Providing initial legal assistance to the overseas Indians in deserving cases.
(5) Expenditure on incidentals and for airlifting the mortal remains to India or local cremation/burial of the deceased overseas Indian in such cases where a sponsor is unable or unwilling to do so as per the contract and the family is unable to meet the cost.
The ICWF would be funded through budgetary support from the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, funds raised by the Indian Missions by levying a service charge on consular services and through Voluntary contributions from the Indian community. The Fund will be administered by the respective Heads of Missions.