The government fed more than 10,000 Indian labourers stranded in the Gulf with no wages after losing their jobs. In the ‘food crisis’ it is our job to support our brothers and sisters says Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj.
On Sunday, in her series of tweets, Swaraj said that 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 the local authorities.
"Large numbers of Indians have lost their jobs in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The employers have not paid wages and close down their factories," Swaraj said late on Saturday. "As a result our brothers and sisters are facing extreme hardship.”
“Situation in Kuwait is manageable but the matters are much worse in Saudi Arabia. The number of Indian workers facing food crisis in Saudi Arabia is over ten thousand,” she confirms.
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, with no channels for redress.
Indian media on Sunday said 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.
The Indian consulate in Jeddah posted a series of pictures on Twitter showing its nationals queuing up for food packets, eggs, spices and salt provided by the officials. Nearly three million Indians live and work in Saudi Arabia, according to the foreign ministry.