Saudi Arabia: With no jobs, Indians resort to begging; 450 held

Hyderabad: No jobs to survive due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, many Indian workers resorted to begging in Saudi Arabia. Of them 450 were held by the Saudi authorities and shifted to the Shumaisi detention centre in Jeddah.

Most of these workers are from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Kashmir, Bihar, Delhi, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Haryana, Punjab, and Maharashtra. Their work permits had expired, forcing them to beg.

Among the workers at the detention centres include 39 from Uttar Pradesh, 10 from Bihar, five from Telangana, four each from Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir and Karnataka, and one from Andhra Pradesh.

TOI quoted one of them as saying, “We have not committed any crime. We were forced to beg because of our situation as we lost our jobs. Now, we are languishing in the detention centres.”

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Another one alleged that Indians were discriminated. He said, “We have seen workers from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Sri Lanka being helped by the authorities of their countries and sent back to their respective countries. However, we are stuck here.”

MBT leader Amjed Ullah Khan has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, external affairs minister S Jaishankar, civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Indian ambassador to Saudi Arabia Ausaf Sayeed, to bring to their notice the plight of the 450 Indian workers and urged the Centre to help the workers’ return to India.

Only 40,000 Indians have been able to come back though 2.4 lakh had reportedly registered to return to India.

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