Hyderabad: In the midst of the ongoing crisis in Qatar, migrants from Telangana are worrying about a seemingly minor issue — although India’s youngest state is three years old, Embassy forms do not yet list it as a separate entity and recognise only Andhra Pradesh.
As an ominous air hangs over Qatar and many Indians wish to get out before it gets worse, the issue could complicate matters for those from Telangana as they are currently left with no option but to choose Andhra Pradesh in the forms they fill with the Embassy. Doing so introduces a discrepancy since their other documents record them as hailing from Telangana. When the rush to get out begins and there are few seats on the flight and too many people to fly, that discrepancy could result in a wrangle with the bureaucracy.
Activists working for the welfare of Indians in the Gulf countries said the Telangana government should immediately take up the matter with the External Affairs ministry and sort it out.
While there are people from both Telangana and AP working in Qatar, a majority of those in the construction sector are from Telangana, said Dr Lissy Joseph of the National Democratic Workers’ Movement.
With Qatar hosting the 2020 football world cup, job opportunities in the construction sector there have seen a rise, attracting Indians from across the Gulf countries to Doha, she explained.
Due to the current crisis, however, people have started moving out of Qatar, including those who have been in the country for many years.
“Those who want to be flown back to India have to submit an online application to register themselves, but with Telangana not listed as a state, processing their return could be complicated,” she said.
M. Bheem Reddy of the Migrants’ Rights Council said a similar situation had arisen in Oman but the Indian embassy there rectified the issue within a day of it being brought to its notice.
“It is the government’s responsibility to check these issues, NGOs or other common people can also get it rectified”, he said.
Other activists said that as many of the migrants were illiterates, it was difficult for them to go through the online processes. Instead, the Embassy should widely publicise the formalities for safe repatriation and make them available offline....