HYDERABAD: On an average, 15 Indian immigrants die every day in six countries — Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — in the Gulf. According to a data of the ministry of external affairs (MEA), 33,988 Indians have died in the Gulf since 2014, including 4,823 this year.
Replying to a question from Congress MP and TPCC president N Uttam Kumar Reddy in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, minister of state for external affairs V Muraleedharan said a majority of deaths of Indians were reported from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Telangana NRI wing official E Chitti Babu said Telangana is one of the states in India which account for a large number of deaths. “We believe around 1,200 from Telangana may have died in the Gulf in the past five years,” he told TOI.
Curiously, the Telangana government’s NRI wing maintains death records of only those where a free ambulance is provided to the families. Babu said that 850 families of below poverty line have availed the free ambulance service for shifting bodies of their kith and kin from Shamshabad airport to their villages and towns.
Till October this year alone, MEA had received 15,051 complaints from Gulf NRIs, mostly pertaining to cheating by agents on employment. Muraleedharan told the Lok Sabha that most of the complaints received from Indian workers are over non-payment of salaries and denial of legitimate labour rights and benefits such as non-issuance/renewal of residence permits, non-payment/grant of overtime allowance, weekly holidays and longer working hours.
“Refusal to grant exit/re–entry permits for visit to India, refusal to allow the workers to return to India on final exit visa after completion of their contracts and non-provision of medical and insurance facilities and not being paid compensation upon death are some of the other complaints,” he added.
(Courtesy Times of india)