India feeds thousands of Gulf workers ‘in crisis’
INDIA worked yesterday to feed more than 10,000 Indian labourers stranded in the Gulf with no wages after losing their jobs, in what Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj called a “food crisis”.
In a series of tweets, Mr Swaraj said the migrant workers were facing “extreme hardship” and that two junior foreign ministers will be sent to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to take up the issue with authorities.
“Large number of Indians have lost their jobs in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The employers have not paid wages [and] closed down their factories,” Mr Swaraj said on July 30.
“As a result our brothers and sisters in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are facing extreme hardship. While the situation in Kuwait is manageable, matters are much worse in Saudi Arabia.”
Indians are among millions of poor Asians working in the Gulf states where human rights groups say many suffer exploitation and abuses, including non-payment of wages.
The workers were starving in camps with no way of returning home, as Gulf countries face a drop in oil revenues from falling prices, prompting a downturn in construction and layoffs. Nearly 3 million Indians live and work in Saudi Arabia. –