Hyderabad: The most number of complaints from overseas Indian workers emanates from Kuwait. Some 2,377 complaints were received from Indians working till May. From Saudi Arabia, there were 2,244 complaints as per government records.
Activists working for emigrants’ welfare say the reason for the large number of complaints is the many active organisations in Kuwait which help Indians lodge complaints and fight on their behalf.
Kuwait also has the most number of workers who registered for repatriation in embassies/ consulates. A total of 2,330 requests for repatriation were filed in Kuwait followed by 1,138 in Qatar, 1,104 in Saudi Arabia, 665 in Oman, and 285 in Bahrain.
Most of the complaints received from Indian workers are regarding non-payment of salary, denial of legitimate labour rights and benefits, non-issuance/ renewal of residence permits, non-payment/ grant of overtime allowance, weekly holidays, longer working hours, refusal to grant exit/ re-entry permits for visit to India, refusal to allow the worker on final exit visa after completion of their contracts, non-provision of medical and insurance facilities, and not being paid compensation upon death.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle Mr G. Muralidhar Reddy, social welfare activist from Kuwait, who has helped many Indians return home, said, “In Kuwait, many Indians come for work on a work visa. If they have differences with the company’s owners they will face a lot of problems. If he leaves the firm on his own without being paid a number of cases will be booked against him like theft, debt case.”
Mr Reddy added that like the Police Clearance Certificate issued to Indian passport applicants and passport holders by a government agency or the police department, to certify that the applicant has no criminal record, the cops or a central agency should be established to check and verify whether the migrants going to work at a particular company have any criminal history in the past and whether it is fake or not.
President of the Emigrants’ Welfare Forum, M.M. Bheem Reddy, said, “Kuwait is a very small country. However, there are many Indian associations there helping to bring out these issues and lodge complaints.”
According to official documents, there are 42 Indian officers and 202 Indian staff deployed in 11 missions and posts in the Gulf countries, assisted by 354 local employees. The ministry of external affairs regularly reviews the requirement of manpower at various levels in missions and posts abroad as well as at the headquarters, and takes appropriate action as per the requirement, added an official....