Family members and relatives of people who have gone to Iraq to eke out their livelihood are spending sleepless nights following reports about a “civil war” in that country.

With the news spreading about strife-torn Iraq and woes of Indian immigrants, their family members are tense and are anxiously waiting for phone calls from their dear ones to know about their well-being. They become tense when mediapersons start visiting their houses to know about the well-being of their kin in Iraq.

Concern all around

Lakshmi, wife of Muthyala Gangaram, of Mothe village in Jagtial mandal, asked: “What happened to my husband and why have all of you come here?” When told that there was nothing to worry and all was well, she informed that her husband had migrated to Iraq after taking a loan of Rs 1.3 lakh three months ago. He went to Iraq after the agents told him that he could earn more in Iraq.

Gangavva, mother of Gangaram, of Veldurthi village in Jagtial mandal, who migrated to Iraq, was also worried about her son. She said that she had not received any call for more than a fortnight from her son.

Harrowing experiences

President of the Gulf-returning welfare members’ society in Jagtial, Chand Pasha, told The Hindu that many people from Jagtial and Sircilla divisions had migrated to Iraq to make a fast buck following big promises made by travel agents and that too after making debts of Rs.1 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh. “The migrants live in poor conditions without proper food and shelter,” he said.

‘All migrants from district safe’

Nizamabad Staff Reporter adds: All migrants from the district in war-torn Iraq were safe and have no intention to come back in the near future. “Therefore we are not making distress calls, but informing our near and dear ones that we are very happy,” said Sai Charan of Perkit village in Armoor mandal, who is in Ergul city in northern Iraq.

Talking to The Hindu from Iraq on Wednesday evening, he said there were very few people from the district in that Arab country and they did not see any problem from any quarter for their continuation in jobs there. Most of them are working in hotels and oil companies.

“As far as my knowledge goes we are 200 to 250 people from the district here. We are all from Armoor and Kamareddy areas. But, over 10,000 people from India are living in the northern Iraq some 500 km away from Baghdad. Labourers from Karimnagar and Adilabad are in few hundreds,” he said.

D. Sailu of Gandlapet village in Morthad mandal also said that his friend, Maddela Balakrishna, from the same village, and he were safe in Iraq and there was no impact of the war in their area.

Helpline number launched

Medak Staff Reporter adds: With clear instructions from the State government, the administration has geared up to find out whether any person from the district was trapped in Iraq.

A helpline number 08455 272525 was set up at the Collectorate to help the relatives to forward information regarding their relatives stranded in Iraq, said in-charge Collector A. Sarath.

It was estimated that about 5,000 people could be in the Gulf countries, including Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Sharjah, Kuwait and Bahrain from Dubbak, Siddipet, Ramayampet, Zaheerabad and other areas from the district, but it was not sure whether anyone had gone to Iraq.

In the past, some of those who had gone to Gulf countries worked in Iraq when the US was stationed there. However, after the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, they had returned.

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