10,000 stranded Indians to be evacuated from Saudi

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Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj (File Photo)

New Delhi: A large number of Indian workers in Saudi Arabia who have lost their jobs and cannot even buy food due to severe financial hardship will be brought back home, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said, asserting that not one of them will go hungry.

In a statement in Parliament amid concerns by members in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Ms. Swaraj said the Minister of State for External Affairs Gen. (retd.) V.K. Singh is leaving for Saudi Arabia to oversee the evacuation process. She said the Indian embassy in the Gulf nation was running five camps to feed the affected people.

“Not one worker of ours will go hungry. This is my assurance to the country through Parliament… We will bring all of them back to India,” Ms. Swaraj said.

Issues like logistics and modalities of a possible repatriation of the workers who want to return to India will be worked out during Singh’s visit. The Government has sought Saudi assistance in arranging exit visas for all Indian workers who wish to be repatriated.

The Ministry of External Affairs is also in touch with the Saudi authorities to ensure that the claims of all Indian workers with unpaid dues are lodged and processed in accordance with law.

Approximately 10,000 Indian workers have been affected by the economic slowdown in the Gulf and the situation was fluid and dynamic.