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Indian Community Welfare Fund

Introduction: The Indian Community Welfare Fund is a scheme by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) aimed at assisting Overseas Indians in distress situations. It also provides support in emergency evacuation from conflict zones and countries affected by natural disasters.

Ministry/Agency: Ministry of External Affairs (MEA)

Objectives:

  • Assist Overseas Indians in distress situations
  • Support for community welfare activities
  • Improvement in Consular services

Benefits: Assistance provided under ICWF includes:

  • Transportation of Mortal Remains and expenditure on incidentals of deceased Indian national to India or local cremation/burial
  • Boarding and lodging for deserving distressed Indian nationals abroad
  • Air passage to India to stranded Overseas Indian nationals
  • Legal Assistance on a means-tested basis
  • Payment for small fines and penalties in respect of Indian nationals for minor offences/crimes
  • Emergency Medical Care on means-tested basis
  • Payment of honorarium for teachers/faculty teaching Indian languages, art forms
  • Welfare activities for Indian students
  • Hiring of limited additional staff for rendering various consular services
  • Hiring vehicles on a need basis
  • Hiring of local interpreters
  • Design, publication, translation costs of pamphlets
  • Organizing labour camps / consular camps
  • Setting up 24 x 7 toll-free helplines
  • Development of e-Governance solutions, applications

Eligibility:

  • The applicant must be an Overseas Indian.
  • The applicant must be in a distress situation (as defined under scheme benefits).
  • Persons of Indian Origin aren’t covered under ICWF.
  • The “Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) Card Holders” are not eligible for individual financial assistance from ICWF.

Implementation strategy: ICWF has been extended to all Indian Missions and Posts abroad. The guidelines have been revised to provide greater flexibility in addressing requests for assistance.

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