Abu Dhabi, Feb 26: Distressed Indians in the UAE have been urged to use 11.7 million dirham (Rs.21 crore) community fund to which Indian expats contribute every time they avail a consular service, a media report said on Friday.
Dinesh Kumar, First Secretary (Community Affairs) at the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi told Khaleej Times that the fund under the mission currently amounts to 11.7 million dirham.
Needy Indians -- including those stranded after losing jobs, runaway house maids and critically ill patients -- are among those who can avail monetary support from the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF).
As much as 2.43 million dirham was spent from the fund in 2015 within the UAE and an additional 6.7 million dirham was disbursed from the same for the evacuation of Indians in Iraq last year, figures from the embassy showed.
"An amount of Rs.12 crore was allotted to the Indian Embassy in Baghdad for the evacuation of the Indians stuck there (due to the civil war in Iraq). We still have about Rs.21 crore left in the fund," said Kumar.
At the launch of a family protection scheme for NRI families from Aster DM Healthcare and RAK Insurance this week, Indian Ambassador to the UAE T.P. Seetharam urged Indians in distress to seek help from the fund.
"There are various categories of distressed Indians who can approach us for financial aid from the fund. These are issued under the guidelines for Indians in the UAE and are also published on our website and Facebook page," he said.
He said there are over 8,000 Indian associations or community groups in the UAE and sought their help in bringing the cases of distressed Indians to the attention of the Indian missions here.