Hyderabad: Expressing grave concern over the pathetic condition of Indian immigrants in the Gulf nations, the Bharatiya Janata Party has demanded that the State government constitute a three-member committee with the Chief Secretary and Secretaries of Labour and Education departments to ensure their security and protection.
Speaking to mediapersons in the State BJP office here on Monday, the national BJP secretary, Mr Muralidhar Rao, pointed out that most of the immigrants were from Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, especially from the backward Mahbubnagar district. While the poverty-stricken people were going to the Gulf countries with an intention to earn money for their dependants, but their living conditions in those countries turned pathetic and heart rending, he said, adding that they were leading a heinous life by working as bonded labourers for monthly pay of Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000.
Stating that most of the Gulf-bound workers were illiterates, Mr Muralidhar Rao said that there was a wrong notion that mostly Muslims were going to the Gulf nations for livelihood. But in reality, only 0.5 per cent of Muslims were migrating to those countries and the rest were poverty-stricken Hindus. Of the Hindus, 65 per cent are BCs, 20% SCs and 15% OCs, he pointed out.
Claiming that some 20 lakh Indians were working in those countries at present, the BJP leader bemoaned that some 30 lakh persons have returned from the Gulf and resorting to suicides as they were unable to pay off their debts. He also pointed out that 276 Gulf returnees committed suicide from June 2009 till date. This reveals that abysmal poverty and wrong notion to make money were driving them towards the Gulf countries, he added.
The BJP leader said that among the Gulf immigrants at present, 50% were aged between 18 and 30 years and 35% between 31 and 40 years. While 24% of them were illiterates, 42% were matriculates and 14% completed higher education, he said, adding that 95% were aged between 18 and 40 years. He also pointed out that though they were contributing 3% more than the GDP foreign exchange to the country, the State and Union governments remained negligent towards them. Though there was an exclusive Ministry for NRIs in the Union Cabinet, it was functioning for name sake only, he added.
The BJP leader demanded constitution of a three-member committee so that it could hold seminars for those going to Gulf countries. If the Union government failed to respond to the problem, the BJP would be constrained to launch agitation in this regard, he added. (NSS)