Sushma Swaraj comes to the aid of Indians in Saudi Arabia

Sushma Swaraj

Not One Indian Worker Will Go Hungry In Saudi, Says Sushma Swaraj : 10 Points

New Delhi: More than 10,000 Indian workers in Saudi Arabia are facing a financial crisis, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Saturday.

The number of Indian workers facing financial crisis in Saudi Arabia is over ten thousand, Sushma Swaraj said in a tweet.

“It is not 800 as is being reported,” she said.

She appealed to the expatriate Indian population in Saudi Arabia to “help your brothers and sisters”.

“There is nothing mightier than the collective will of Indian nation,” Sushma Swaraj said.

Earlier on Saturday, she said that a large number of Indians have lost their jobs in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

“The employers have not paid wages, closed down their factories,” she said, adding that Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh would be going to Saudi Arabia to sort out the issue.

She stated this in response to a tweet from a man who said that over 800 jobless Indians have been stranded in Jeddah.

“We have asked the Indian Embassy in Saudi Arabia to serve you food in Jeddah,” Sushma Swaraj said.

“My colleague @Gen_VKSingh is reaching Saudi Arabia to sort out all such matters,” she stated.

Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar would be taking up the issue with the Saudi and Kuwaiti authorities, she said.

“I am monitoring this on hourly basis,” Sushma Swaraj said in another tweet.

Here are the 10 latest developments in this story

  1. “No jobless Indian will sleep hungry. If they want to come back home, the government will ensure their safe return,” Ms Swaraj said.
  2. Insisting that she is “personally monitoring the situation on hourly basis”, Ms Swaraj also said that Minister of State VK Singh will travel to Saudi Arabia tomorrow to oversee India’s efforts.
  3. The government is talking with Saudi authorities to ensure that those who haven’t been paid their salaries by their employers for the last several months get the dues they deserve.
  4. Around 10,000 Indian workers in Saudi Arabia have lost their jobs. The workers were mostly employed by construction companies and were laid off amid a slowdown due to low global oil prices.
  5. Over 2,400 Indians belonging to the once-mighty construction giant Saudi Oger Company are housed in five camps in Jeddah, Mecca and Taif, and have faced a massive food shortage. Since July 25, the company has stopped providing meals to the workers besides defaulting on their salaries. The government has provided rations for the next eight to 10 days, say officials.
  6. On Saturday, Ms Swaraj tweeted that thousands of Indians in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait were facing a “food crisis” because of economic hardships.
  7. Appealing to 30 lakh Indians in the country to help their “fellow brothers and sisters”, Ms Swaraj had asserted on Saturday that there is nothing “mightier” than the collective will of the Indian nation.
  8. In tweets, some of the affected Indians said they had gone without food for three to four days in the camps.
  9. On Sunday, the Indian consulate in Jeddah posted a series of pictures on Twitter showing Indian workers queuing up for food packets, eggs, spices and salt provided by its officials.
  10. Nearly three million Indians live and work in Saudi Arabia, according to the foreign ministry, constituting one of the largest populations of Indian passport holders outside of India.