Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 25 July 2024 5.35 AM IST

'Non-resident Keralites will sell their holdings, Tendulkar to replace Sanju'; Kerala witnessing tectonic shift


Muralee Thummarukudy, Director of the G20 Global Land Initiative Coordination Office of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, is back again with his prophetic takes on what lies ahead for Kerala.

Muralee Thummarukudy in his latest Facebook post highlights the changing trend of money being transferred from Kerala to foreign lands; a total reverse of the olden norms that saw money pouring into Kerala from gulf lands.

Muralee Thummarukudy:

When I got back to India recently, what caught my eye were billboards and advertisements of a firm that helps people send money to foreign lands. This is not any menial advertisement as it is being represented by none other than Amitabh Bachchan, the biggest brand in India.

In my 60 years in Kerala, I have never seen such billboards in the state. We have occasionally glimpsed at advertisements and billboards even in foreign countries that promoted sending money to India. The major chunk of this money from the Gulf as workers' remittances reached Kerala which became the backbone of the state's economy.

For many years, it was Kerala that topped the list of the states receiving the most money from foreign countries. But now, as per RBIs latest figures, it is Maharashtra that is soaring in profits with remittance money from foreign lands. Now it all makes sense on why Amitabh Bachchan was roped in for the new advertisement.

Who are the new demography in Kerala sending money outside the nation? Yes! They are the parents and relatives of students working and studying abroad.

I don’t have the exact numbers but I believe that almost 100,000 Malayalee students are outside Kerala. Let's say that a minimum of ten thousand dollars (eight lakh rupees) per student is sent every year, then it becomes one billion dollars; that is eight thousand crore rupees. This is just the lowest estimate.

No surprise that Amitabh Bachchan is on the walls and billboards in the city.

More families in Kerala are selling their plots and holdings to help their offspring buy houses in Gulf countries. With many Gulf countries allowing expatriates to buy houses, the trend is set to continue. On the other note, tens of thousands of students going abroad are now dreaming of life there and are apprehensive about returning to their home country. They eventually sell what they have in their hometown to purchase decent houses in the foreign land.

Currently, Sanju Samson is seen on the billboards in such advertisements. Soon, Sanju will be replaced by Sachin Tendulkar himself. The business is such lucrative. All this will have a drastic impact on the economy of Kerala. And more to say, the land price will plummet in the coming times. Shouldn’t we take note of this happening? Yes, indeed we should!

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