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Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF)

  May 11, 2020

Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF)

News: Utilise ICWF for COVID-19 emergencies, says an MP from Kerala to Government in Loksabha

What is the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF)?

The Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF), set up in 2009, is aimed at assisting Overseas Indian nationals in times of distress and emergency in the ‘most deserving cases’ on a ‘means-tested basis’. ICWF has also been a critical support in the emergency evacuation of Indian nationals from conflict zones, countries affected by natural disasters and other challenging situations. In view of its immense utility, ICWF stands extended to all Indian Missions and Posts abroad.

The ICWF can be used for 

  1. Assisting Overseas Indian nationals in distress situations
  2. Boarding and lodging for deserving distressed Indian nationals abroad. To provide an air passage to India to stranded Overseas Indian nationals
  3. Legal Assistance on a means-tested basis to deserving overseas Indian nationals who have committed minor crimes, offences or have been falsely implicated by their employer and put in jails like fishermen/seamen/sailors/Indian students in distress;
  4. Legal/financial assistance to Indian women abandoned/cheated/abused by their NRI/PIO or foreign spouses
  5. Payment for small fines and penalties in respect of Indian nationals for minor offences/crimes; for illegal stay in the host country where prima facie the worker is not at fault, and to enable the release of Indian nationals from jail/detention centre
  6. Transportation of Mortal Remains and expenditure on incidentals of deceased Indian national to India or local cremation/burial of deceased
  7. Emergency Medical Care on a means-tested basis to overseas Indians who are involved in an accident (with serious life-threatening injuries) have life-threatening medical conditions or suffer a serious disability.

B. Support for Community Welfare activities like organizing cultural programmes and Welfare activities for Indian students

C. Improvement in Consular services

Criteria for Utilisation

  1. ICWF funds can be used to assist only Indian citizens residing in the host country or those in distress while visiting a foreign country. 
  2. Persons of Indian Origin and Overseas Citizens of India Card Holders are not eligible for individual financial assistance from ICWF.
  3. ICWF can be utilized for the benefit of Indian nationals in distress on a means-tested basis provided the officer approving ICWF expenditure has satisfied himself that the beneficiary deserves to be assisted.
  4. Ordinarily, only such Indian National(s) who have entered the host country legally shall be eligible to receive benefits under this Fund. 
  5. In cases where it is not so, assistance may be provided after the Head of Mission/Head of Post has recorded his satisfaction to the effect that the circumstances of the case necessitate providing assistance under ICWF.