In a move that will help families whose kin have passed away abroad, government today introduced an online system that will enable them track the transportation of the mortal remains.
The "Online system for facilitating transportation of mortal remains from ECR countries" was launched by Minister for External Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs Sushma Swaraj here.
"This looks small but the impact will be big. We have just launched an important initiative," she told reporters.
Minister of state V K Singh was also present. Swaraj said that since she was also the Minister of MEA, requests often come in from people seeking faster passports and even visa for other countries. "The request that I usually get relating to Overseas Indian Affairs is 'please bring back my brother's or husband's body or even that the body has been lying in another country for five months, please bring it back'," she added.
Swaraj said that with this software, the family will be aware about the day when the body will be received and also reasons for any delay. This software module can be accessed from the website of the Overseas Indian Affairs and it allows a person to submit an online application for transportation of mortal remains of deceased emigrant. Following this, the applicant is given a Application Reference Number and his application is processed by the concerned Indian Mission electronically.
The Indian Mission is supposed to update the status and action taken daily and if they don't, alerts go to them automatically from the system. Applicants receive updates through email and SMS. The applicant can view the status of the case by using track system facility. According to MEA officials, every year there are about 500 cases of Indians dying abroad due to natural and unnatural causes.
The software module accepts applications where emigrant has died in 17 emigration check required countries - Malaysia, Jordan, UAE, Yemen, Lebanon, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Iraq, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Libya, Sudan, Syria and Thailand.