My letter to a interesting dialogue with Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy by Roopa Kurien for Khaleej Times.
To read it in full, please visit Khaleej Times online
My comments as below:
An interesting dialogue with Kerala Chief Minister covering majority of the talked about issues. Non Resident Keralities (NRK) are always keen on issues and developmental activities happening within the state. It can be visibly observed by the number of print, online and electronic media and associations in Malayalam within this region actively discussing day to day actions.
Air Kerala is looked up on by all malayalees to ease up the travel tensions. How and when it will materializes and how far it will resolve the cost of travel is to be seen as it happens.
We have been hearing of SmartCity and in reality still hearing about it other than the developments projected in press.
Voting rights, if given to NRKs may bring about a phenomenal change to the outlook towards their demands and actual requirements.
Abolishing strikes or stoppage of educational hours should be a solution thought about by all parties to bring in a smooth flow of classes and curriculum once a student is enrolled. Peaceful protests and expression of freedom of thoughts should be allowed without interruption of classes should be implemented by bringing out an all party consensus to the current situation.
A strict no-no to public damaging of properties by any protesters should be also enforced by a joint political consensus discussed and finalized within the legal and legislative framework.
A single window processing channel for NRK investments which monitors the entire life span of each project and assist them till it become a success and after should become a reality.
A major point which did not come in this discussion is the road, transport and infrastructure facilities, which are in pathetic conditions in several parts for a long time. Road conditions from Trichur to Coimbatore, which connects Kerala with Tamilnadu is a major example of ignoring time, safety and convenience of lakhs of commuters every day.
On the health sector, NRKs and general public look forward to availability of quality medical services to them as well as general public.
Quota for NRK students in Kerala educational institutions is also another requirement.
Hygiene issues prevailing in several parts of the state is a major problem. The poor overall facilities provided to the devotees visiting Sabarimala temple is an open issue. As also, waste management problems in all major cities like Trivandrum, Cochin, Calicut etc.
Transportation facilities in quality and quantity available to connect nearby and far away states has always been another major concern.
Last but not the least, Kerala State government is promoting various lotteries for developing different projects. Why not a lottery specific for the welfare of NRKs. It could be sold at all Airports and regular distributors.
Taking on a lighter note on the statistics projected on Janasamparkam programme, we hope the Chief Minister is conducting this to not get himself an entry into the Guinness Book of Records.
Several instances of no reply to issues addressed are in plenty, even after repeated follow up.
We look forward and welcome him to organize a real Pravasi Kerala Dhinam (day) in the UAE to interact with normal working class NRKs to understand the real issues pertaining to all from the state.