Indian workers in Gulf air problems at diaspora meet

January 9th, 2009 - 7:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Jan 9 (IANS) Complaints of ill treatment of migrant workers by Indian immigration officials and by officials of Indian embassies abroad, the lack of higher education facilities for children of Indian workers and lack of legal assistance for jailed workers abroad were some of the issues brought to the notice of Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi by the people from the Gulf region here Friday.Participating in the session to discuss the problems faced by the Indians in the Gulf region at the seventh Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) convention, a delegate said: “I saw an immigration official throwing a passport on the face of two workers. The workers should be treated with dignity.”

According to Soman Baby, associate editor, Gulf Daily News, Bahrain, the remittances from workers from the Gulf will “drastically drop as there is going to be a reverse migration of workers.”

Urging the minister to set up a resettlement department for workers who return from the Gulf, he said: “The economic downturn has halted several projects. India should be able to utilise the skilled workers returning back.”

S.K. Virmani, managing director, Bhawan Engineering Group, Oman, asked the Indian textile companies to set up units in Oman and take advantage of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that exists between USA and Oman.

Replying to the plea that the government should act fast to bring back the jailed Indian workers in the Gulf region, Ravi said: “We are not able to get the details of workers who are jailed. If details of jailed workers are provided we will act immediately.”

He also assured that the migrant workers will be treated with dignity.

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