gulf: more than 7 lakh Indian workers returned from six gulf countries during pandemic: government data
In the aftermath of the pandemic, more than 7 lakh laborers have returned from six Gulf countries under the Vande Bharat mission, many of whom have now managed to return as Covid-19 cases have declined, the minister of health said. External Affairs, Dr S Jaishankar in Parliament on 3rd February.
Of the 7,16,662 workers who returned as a result of the pandemic, more than 3 lakh came from the United Arab Emirates, while 1.37 lakh returned from Saudi Arabia.
During the pandemic, Indian missions in the Gulf region extended their support to Indians using the Indian Community Welfare Fund and coordinating with community associations. This support included expenses related to accommodation, airfare and emergency medical care, Jaishankar said.
While the pandemic has receded in recent months, many have managed to return to these Gulf countries thanks to the air bubbles between India and the six Gulf countries.
“To this end, all Gulf countries have been urged to establish air bubbles and ease visa, travel and health restrictions. All Gulf countries have responded favorably to these efforts by the government, which has resulted in a constant flow of returnees to Gulf countries,” the Foreign Ministry replied in response to a question about whether the government had a rehabilitation proposal or financial assistance for Gulf returnees. who have lost their jobs.
“Indian Missions/Posts continue to pursue with Gulf Governments the return of Indian workers, realization of payments owed to them, new recruitments in light of economic recovery and other welfare measures , if any,” Jaishankar added.
In January 2021, the government also launched an upskilling program for Indian blue collar workers in the UAE to improve their employability and salaries.
He said he visited the Gulf countries 13 times and Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan four times.
“Our goal is to bring as many workers back there as possible, with as many of them able to return to their old jobs,” Jaishankar said.
“…Keeping jobs, ensuring the payment of wages, ensuring the well-being of workers, these have been the priorities of our missions in the Gulf. From the highest level, we have been committed to this issue and we regularly discussed with the Gulf governments at my level and at the ambassadorial level,” added Jaishankar.