Govt to provide food to starving Indians in Saudi

Govt to provide food to starving Indians in Saudi

Over 8,000 citizens lost their jobs in the past few months

Govt to provide food to starving Indians in Saudi

The government has stepped in to provide food to starving Indians in Saudi Arabia, where over 8,000 Indian nationals have lost their jobs in the past few months.

The Embassy of India in Riyadh and the Consulate General of India in Jeddah are providing free ration to jobless Indians, many of whom did not even receive their dues from their employers in Saudi Arabia.

“I assure you that no Indian worker rendered unemployed in Saudi Arabia will go without food. I am monitoring this on an hourly basis,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted on Saturday.

Sushma asked Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh to rush to Saudi Arabia to oversee measures to provide food and other assistance to jobless Indians.

She also asked newly appointed Minister of State for External Affairs, M J Akbar, to seek the intervention of the Saudi Arabian government to help the unemployed Indians, particularly to make their employers pay the unpaid wages and settle other dues.

Akbar has also been asked to seek the intervention of the authorities in Kuwait as many Indians lost jobs in that country too.

“ A large number(s) of Indians have lost their jobs in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The employers have not paid wages, (but) closed down their factories,” Sushma posted on Twitter. “As a result,” she added, “our brothers and sisters in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are facing extreme hardship.”

The minister also tweeted that while the situation in Kuwait was “manageable”, it was “much worse” in Saudi Arabia.

The lower oil prices slowed down the Saudi Arabian economy and many of the kingdom’s companies, which had hired workers from India and other South Asian nations, shut shop over the past few months.

The Saudi Arabian government’s recent policies of reserving jobs for the local population in sectors like mobile phone retailing also rendered about 8,000 expatriates jobless. The government swung into action after a Twitter user drew the attention of the external affairs minister to the plight of about 800 Indian workers, who were employed by a construction company  Saudi Oger Limited, but lost jobs as the firm suffered huge losses.
Many of the workers were starving for three days as the company did not even clear unpaid wages. 

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