Newskarnataka.com, the favoured news portal of Kannadigas the world over, has been highlighting the concerns of Non-Resident Kannadigas the world over through a series of live conversations with the Country representatives of the International Kannadigas Federation (IKF) on its YouTube Channel. With six episodes aired, (see an analysis of episode 5, here ) the issues and concerns they have raised on the show have already gained traction with the state government and the pressure is building to address their concerns post haste.
The more than 120 pro-Kannada organizations across 34 countries have been appealing to the state government for assistance on various fronts through these conversations. But is the state Government listening?
The consensus is that eventually they will, and that is why it is important to continue these conversations. The NRKs are, after all, major contributors to the development of the state and its people. KNRI's awaiting the sweet news on the appointment of Dy Chairman for KNRI forum by the end of the first week of February are disappointed due to the inaction by the State Govt.
The 6th edition of the much-admired talk show with representatives of the International Kannadigas’ Federation (IKF) was held on 13/02/2021 with Sudheer Navuluru Founder and Social Media Strategist, Karnataka Sangha Uganda, Ramesh Shekar Bhandary, President Tulukoota, Kuwait and Mohammed Saleem, President, Namma Nada Okkoota, Dubai as Guests. CA Valerian Dalmaida, Mentor, Spearhead Media Group, hosted the talk show with Kiran Nirkan as co-host.
Karnataka Sangha- Uganda: the Flagbearer of 300 families in Uganda
Shri. Sudheer Navuluru, President, Karnataka Sangha, Uganda while thanking NK for its initiative in providing a platform to them to air their appreciation and concerns, said, “Karnataka Sangha Uganda, came into existence 17 years ago with the objective of preserving and promoting Kannada culture and tradition particularly among the younger generation. About 30,000 Indians are living in Uganda and out of which around 300 are from Karnataka. They believe in unity and harmony and towards this end, the Sangha organizes a celebration of all festivals of India, he added.
Navuluru dwelt on the activities of the Sangha at some length. He said, “We have taken up a project called Cauvery under which infrastructure for rainwater harvesting is provided to schools and we have completed 20 such projects so far. Our philanthropic work of collecting toys, clothes, groceries, and distributing them to poor children and orphanages during Christmas and other festivals is worth mentioning”.
He recalled the guidance of Dr. K Muralidhar, Member Secretary, Kannada Development Authority during the pandemic. The details given by him on the Indian Community Welfare Fund under the Ministry of External Affairs (ICWF) managed by the Indian High Commission has helped us to a great extent he added.
“Crowdfunded Newskarnataka.com, is our role model”, says Mohammed Saleem, President Namma Nada Okkoota, Dubai
Shri Saleem, speaking on the show, said that the Namma Nada Okkoota was still in its infancy, having started just seven months ago. “During a visit to my native place, I saw, our people were distributing grocery kits at the time of Covid, which lasted for less than three months. All this I realised, were temporary measures and we must do something more constructive to make our people self-sufficient. Everyone talks about ‘little drops make a mighty ocean’. But people are neglecting their own drops.”
He recalled the beginning and spoke about the plans of the Okkoota. “We started as a small group in Moodabidre, which spread to different parts and now covers 32 Taluks of DK, Udupi, UK, and Shimoga. To make people self-sufficient and lead a respectable life, we have few projects in our minds. People working in Kuwait buy small pieces of land in their homeland out of their savings. But this land is left barren without cultivation. Instead of buying a small piece of land we jointly plan to buy 100 acres of land for cultivation using the latest technology making all members partners in the venture. This will not only employ Kannadigas but also help in boosting foreign exchange. Also, at home, we have a shortage of skilled employees, and it is towards this end, we plan to conduct skill development training for unemployed youth. We also plan to honour people every month who have rendered selfless service to society in different spheres”.
But he raised a red flag to the exorbitant flight rates from India to the Gulf and vice versa, particularly during the festive season putting NRIs in great difficulty. He emphasized that this should be brought to the notice of the Civil aviation Ministry for their intervention and remedial action.
Tulukoota Kuwait, spreading the aroma of our culture and tradition.
Mr. Ramesh Bhandary, President, Tulukoota, Kuwait, explaining the origins of the organisation said, “Tulukoota Kuwait was started in the year 2000 to promote the Language, Culture, and Tradition of Tulunadu”. He said that 40000 Kannadigas are living in Kuwait, and among these, the majority are from the coastal belt.
“Our association has over 1000 active members. We conduct regular socio-cultural and benevolent programs for the benefit of our members. These include free medical check-ups for the working class who cannot afford the medical check-up in private Hospitals. We also conduct regular blood donation camps and competitions in singing and other events in Kuwait providing a platform for budding talents from our homeland to bloom”.
He added. “as part of our social welfare programs, we have three projects namely, Project Education, Ashrarya, and Bhagyada Bolpu. Under project education, we provide free books, aids for unaided schools in Karnataka, payment of fees in respect of children from economically backward families, and the Ashraya project serves in the construction houses for widows, while Bhagyada Bolpu is lighting the lives of children affected with HIV and differently-abled children.”
Shifting gears, he voiced his concerns about the heart-rending situations of workers who had to face wage cuts, loss of jobs, and living in an uncertainty consequent to the Covid. He appealed to the Karnataka Govt to come forward and help these workers.
The host concluded the interaction with, “KNRI’s have a big heart. Our fight for the appointment of a Dy Chairman to The KNRI forum is not limited to the interest of the KNRI’s, we have larger objectives. KNRI’s can play a significant role in foreign investments, the establishment of manufacturing hubs, and other infrastructural development of the State. Proper channelizing of NRI resources and talents will go long way in the economic development of the State”. Indeed.
Watch the full conversation here;
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