NRI families’ long wait for postal service

Snail mail of India Post is crucial for scores of bereaved families who await cheques, documents from abroad

By   |  Published: 21st Nov 2020  11:39 pmUpdated: 21st Nov 2020  9:53 pm
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Jeddah: Nusrath Begum, 28-year-old wife of Mohammed Amar who died in Saudi Arabia, lives in a remote village of Jagitial district and has been enquiring with the village postman every day about an envelope which she has been expecting since May.

Getting impatient amid financial woes, she sends voice messages to her relatives in Saudi Arabia asking for the pending salary of her late husband that was expected to arrive by postal service.

The snail mail of India Post may not matter to most in this age of Internet communication, but is crucial for scores of bereaved NRI families such as Nusrath Begum.

The Indian diplomatic missions like other missions abroad reach back home through diplomatic baggage by postal service. The bereaved families of NRIs in India receive cheques and other important documents from Indian missions through post only. The Indian missions receive gratuity, pending salaries, other financial claims such as compensation etc., on behalf of deceased NRIs and the same is being remitted to their legal heirs.

Since the beginning of pandemic, international mail services have been disrupted. The infamous case of gold shipment to Kerala concealed under diplomatic baggage compounded the problem further.

The Indian missions receiving the amount meant for deceased workers’ families, however, were not able to remit the amount back home due to mail disruption. Though Government of India’s flagship evacuation flights Mission Vande Bharat were being operated regularly, these cheques were not dispatched, for reasons best known to officials.

After a long halt, the Indian missions have resumed sending payment. Missions across the GCC region have been clearing backlog payment and some hundreds of such payments have already been sent, said sources.

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