Father Davis Chiramel who hit the headlines by donating one of his kidneys to save the life of a patient, has now come up with a programme named ‘Save Pravasi’ to financially help non-resident Keralites (NRKs) who are returning from abroad without jobs.
The Catholic priest said in Thrissur the other day that the NRKs who were returning after losing their jobs were finding it difficult to sustain and there was mass exodus from Gulf Region due to COVID-19 scare and severe financial crisis which had hit the economy of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries like most places in the world.
The funds for ‘Save Pravasi’ will be raised from the NRKs and NRIs who were not badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and are leading a decent life abroad.
Fr. Chiramel who is very active on social media had come up with a video seeking aid for the NRKs returning from the GCC countries. After watching the video, persons who not NRKs have also now come forward to contribute to the programme, Father said.
In the video, Father is seen sharing his experience of speaking to the NRKs who got held up abroad due to the spread of COVID-19.
“People from abroad are calling me over the phone and crying. They want to return to Kerala without any delay. They say that they need to wait for five hours to consult a doctor if they are unwell and even after consulting, they are asked to take Paracetamol tablets and stay at home as there is no system in place to do immediate COVID test. The NRKs have played a crucial role in improving the quality of life in Kerala and in this time of crisis, we need to help them,” Chiramel says in the video.
Those who are associated with the scheme said that as per the ‘Save Pravasi’ programme, those who are donating money will directly transfer Rs 30,000 to the account of the concerned beneficiaries once in 3 months over a period of one year.
Each beneficiary will get a total of Rs 90,000 as aid in a year.
Fr. Chiramel who founded Accident Care & Transport Service (ACTS) and Kidney Federation of India said that both state and central government needed to take whatever necessary steps to bring back NRKs who were presently held up in the GCC countries and other parts of the world.
“The NRKs who are at present stuck abroad are suffering from anxiety due to COVID-19 and they feel that their home in Kerala is the safest place,” he added.
He also said that now 165 person who watched his video had come up offering support and we would be choosing 10 NRKs each from all the 14 districts in the state to hand over money as aid.
No direct application will be accepted from anyone. Those who want to be beneficiaries of the scheme need to approach Fr. Chiramel through social or religious organizations and Father would later pay a visit to the houses of the applicants to confirm whether there were indeed in need of financial assistance.
“I am expecting nearly 500 persons to come up offering financial support to the scheme,” said Chiramel who is at present the parish priest of Unni Mishiha Church at Kadangode near Erumapetti.