Deputy Chairman Dr ArathiKrishna headed the 13th kannada sahitya sammelana, chikkamagalur and was honoured at the prestigous event
Manish S, a techie from the city who moved to Singapore a few years ago, decided to invest his savings back home. With the real estate market booming, land seemed the perfect choice. Together with three friends who also pooled in funds, Manish sank over Rs 70 lakh in a 1.5 acre plot in Chikkaballapur. It was to be a sort of pension for his years after retirement.
However, months after the `deal’ was completed, Manish learnt that he and his friends had been taken for a ride. The real estate agency through which the `deal’ was sealed had furnished Manish and his friends with fake documents. Their title to the land wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on. But they were faced with an agonising problem: How to bring the real estate agency to book?
Taking leave to fight a possibly protracted legal battle wasn’t an option; nor was returning home, since they have work commitments. The four have now appealed to the Karnataka NRI Forum for help.
The forum claims they have been flooded with similar requests from non-resident Kannadigas (NRK). In a market that is already riskier than mutual funds, NRKs, because of their absence from the scene, end up being easy prey for land sharks and fraudulent real estate agents. NRKs have now banded together and are demanding a special police cell to tackle their unique problems. Forum officials say the home ministry is considering their request to set up a special cell on the lines of those in Punjab and Kerala.
Like Manish, Usha Rathnam, who lives in New Jersey with her husband, a software engineer, had purchased a 40x60ft site in Konanakunte. Their joy only lasted till they arrived in Bangalore a few months after they made their purchase. A local politician had taken over their plot, claiming it to be his own.
“We have received several written as well as oral complaints from NRKs on land grabbing, cheating and other related problems,“ V C Prakash, deputy chairman of the forum, told Bangalore Mirror. “Karnataka does not have a separate police cell or institution to address their grievances. I have personally taken up the matter with the home minister and officials in the police department. We have received a favourable response from them on opening a state-level committee.“
The forum wants the police department to conduct periodic reviews of cases pertaining to NRKs. They are demanding a facility like the one in Punjab where a state-level co-ordination committee and a helpline has been set up to address grievances of NRIs living abroad.
Home minister, KJ George, speaking to BM, said, “The issue has come to my attention. We are looking into the demand for a separate police cell. Earlier, there were several complaints about Joseph Chacko cheating NRIs.
We will look into all the issues.“
Chacko, a fraudulent realtor from the city, was arrested a few years ago on charges of cheating NRIs of Rs 500 crore.
Officials say some NRKs had given up their jobs abroad to wage a legal battle to reclaim their land. Vasudeva Murthy, a software engineer working in Sydney, is a typical example. He had bought land in Nelamangala, but influential people in the locality grabbed his land. Murthy returned home and had approached local police seeking their intervention. He had legal documents to prove title, but the police are yet to act on his complaint.
During the month of May 2014:
|S. No.||Details of activity|
|01.||Various emails and letters addressing the High Commissions of Embassies were sent out by our team. This will focus on getting their attention to extend their cooperation to NRIs and also collect the database of NRIs residing in their countires.|
|02.||Emailers and correspondance with the Heads of Kannada Sangha was started and kept on interacting with them by the Member Secretary.|
|03.||Letters to the Principal Seretaries of respective Industry segment was sent out. Further follow up is being made to collect informatio on PPP projects.|
|04.||Interacting with the NRIs and the team of Kannada Sangha Toronto on the occassion of their events like Ugadi, COOK Seminar, Kannada Cinema Celebrations, etc. A video-message on the NRI-Forum-Karnataka & promoting the objectives – was designed and sent to the Leaders of Kannada Sangha to share with the NRIs in these occassions.|
|06.||Considering the issues and concerns coming up from the NRIs, residing outside India, a request letter was sent to the Home Dept of Karnataka, to setup a Special State Level Governance Committee to review the operations of HelpDesks, who would be point of contact for all the NRIs of Karnataka to register their issues. A periodic review would also be done with the help of other related Head of the Departments of Karnataka.|
|07.||A mailer with a request to all the District Commissioners (DCs) and Superintendents of Police (SPs) has been designed and will be sent out any time in May month. We have planned to keep in touch with them for helping the NRIs of Karnataka.|
|08.||Web contents were reviewed and updated. English version of Brochure re-designed and got the approval from Dy Chairman. Will initiate the printing process.|
|09.||Sample letters that were sent out to various key people who will help assist for resolving NRI issues / concerns.
Sample Letter to High Commissions of Indian Embassies ;
During the month of April 2014:
|S. No.||Details of activity|
|01.||Brought out the new promotional plans using new letter-heads for NRI Forum Karnataka. Also discussed on how to bring out the News Letter from NRI Forum Karnataka on a periodic basis from the month May 2014.|
|02.||Made changes to the web site by adding History menu, that shows the executives in the past and the current at NRI Forum Karnataka.|
|03.||Designing a mailer addressing to High Commissions of Indian Embassies residing in other countries.|
|04.||Designing a mailer addressing to The Principal Secretaries of Karnata State to collect information on PPP projects in their respective Industry Segment.|
|05.||Designing a mailer addressing to The Heads of Kannada Sanghas located outside India to promote NRI Forum and also to collect the database of NRIs registered with them. This will help to promote our state and reach information directly to the NRIs.|
|06.||Web content was reviewed and updates are being carried out.|
Date: May 9, 2014
Shri Srinath Vasistha from Navika office in Bangalore has spent good time with NRI Forum Karnataka, in Vikasa Soudha office, on 9th May 2014, to discuss various plans for the Upcoming Event in Bangalore, Amerikannadosthava, on July 12-13, 2014, in Ravindra Kalakshetra.
The meeting was presided by Dr K Muralidhara, member secretary of NRI Forum, and Mr Venkatesh from NRI Forum was convenor of the meeting.
Srinath made a detailed presentation on the Objectives of NAVIKA, various events happened in the past, various events planned this year, how to invite all the NRIs from the Global Countries, etc.
By Web Master
NRI Forum Karnataka