The Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) has been established in the Indian Missions to meet contingency expenditure incurred by them for carrying out various on-site welfare activities for Overseas Indian Citizens who are in distress. ICWF is aimed at providing the following services on a means tested basis in the most deserving cases:
(i)Boarding and lodging for distressed Overseas Indian workers in Household/domestic sectors and unskilled labourers;
(ii)Extending emergency medical care to the Overseas Indians in need;
(iii)Providing air passage to stranded Overseas Indians in need;
(iv)Providing initial legal assistance to the Overseas Indians in deserving cases;
(v)Extending on incidentals and for airlifting the mortal remains to India or local cremation/burial of the deceased Overseas Indians in such cases where the sponsor is unable or unwilling to do so as per the contract and the family is unable to meet the cost;
(vi)Providing the payment of penalties in respect of Indian nationals for illegal stay in the host country where prima facie the worker is not at fault;
(vii)Providing the payment of small fines/penalties for the release of Indian nationals in jail/detention centre;
(viii)Providing support to local Overseas Indian Associations to establish Overseas Indian Community Centers in countries that have population of Overseas Indians exceeding 1,00,000; and
(ix)Providing support to start and run Overseas Indian Community-based student welfare centers in Countries that have more than 20,000 Indian students presence.
Overseas Indian workers duped by unscrupulous intermediaries in the host countries, runaway house maids, those who become victim of accidents, deserted spouses of Overseas Indian of undocumented Overseas Indian workers in need of emergency assistance or any other Overseas Indian citizens who are in distress would be the main beneficiaries of the Fund. The Fund will also be utilized to meet the expenditure for airlifting the mortal remains of Overseas Indian citizens to India on a means tested basis, on the recommendation of the respective Heads of Missions. It is also meant for release of Overseas Indian nationals from detention centers as well as serve as support to Overseas Indian community centers and student welfare centers.
Source of Funding
(i)Funds raised by the Indian Missions by levying a service charge on Consular Services like Passport, Visa, attestations of documents at the rate of Rs.100/- per applicant.
(ii)Voluntary contributions by Indian community.
(iii)Budgetary support from the Government of India, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA).
Indian nationals in distress may approach Consular Section with a written request with supporting documents for availing the service, which will be examined in detail before arriving at the decision of releasing the admissible payment.