Tamil Nadu

Bring back workers from the Gulf: Alagiri urges Centre

The Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president said the Central and State governments should take efforts to bring them back to India either by sending special Air India flights or using the Indian Navy’s ships

Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.S. Alagiri has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar seeking the Indian government’s efforts in repatriating citizens stuck in the Middle East countries, mainly in the United Arab Emirates.

Mr. Alagiri said the Central and State governments -- especially Tamil Nadu, should take efforts to bring them back to India either by sending special Air India flights or using the Indian Navy’s ships.

The Congress leader said a large number of Indians working in the UAE were stuck there due to the lack of interest from the Indian government to bring them back to India unlike in the case of Indians stuck in countries like Italy, Iran and China.

Mr. Alagiri said Indians living in countries of the UAE were suffering many untold miseries. “Indians, especially those from Tamil Nadu and Kerala, working there are living there with great mental agony as they are unable to be tested or treated for COVID-19. Their lives have become a question mark due to job loss and income loss. The Indian Embassies there or the Central and State governments in India have not taken any interest in them,” he said.

Many of them are forced in cramped spaces, with almost 30 people having to stay in one room, with no option to follow social distancing, he added.

During the Manmohan Singh regime from 2004, there was a separate Ministry formed to take care of issues of workers from India living abroad. But in 2016, this got subsumed into the External Affairs Ministry under the BJP regime. This has led to problems of overseas Indian not being taken care of adequately, he pointed out.

Mr. Alagiri said Indians working in the UAE in different sectors had sent money back to India to the tune of ₹6.21 lakh crores in 2019 alone. But the government has not bothered about them or their problems. Between 2014 and 2019, 33,988 Indians died abroad. There were 11,501 complaints received. Neither were the complaints resolved nor any compensation given to the families of those who lost their lives there, he charged.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 6:31:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/bring-back-workers-from-the-gulf-alagiri-urges-centre/article31462411.ece

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