Union government is preparing an evacuation plan to rescue more than 10000 workers stranded in Saudi Arabia. The airlift operation is likely to take place in the next few days.
Ministry of External Affairs is arranging exit visas for jobless citizens, and Minister of State for External Affairs Gen (Retired) V.K. Singh is expected to travel to Saudi Arabia to lead the evacuation efforts.
Indian Embassy in Riyadh has started supplying food packets to workers have been facing uncertain future in Saudi Arabia following widespread layoffs in the country.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday, appealed to 30 lakhs Indians in that country to help their “fellow brothers and sisters”, asserting that there is nothing “mightier” than the collective will of the Indian nation.
“We have asked Indian Embassy in Riyadh to provide free ration to the unemployed Indian workers in Saudi Arabia,” she said in a series of tweets.
Her initial response came following a tweet by a man who said around 800 Indians were starving for the last three days in Jeddah and sought her intervention.
However, later, she said “The number of Indian workers facing food crisis in Saudi Arabia is over ten thousand. It is not 800 as is being reported.” Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh will soon travel to the Gulf nation to assess severity of the problem and try to resolve it.
Swaraj said a large number of Indians have lost their jobs in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and that their employers have not paid wages and closed down their factories.
The Indian Consulate officials have already left for a highway camp near Jeddah where hundreds of workers need assistance.
The Consulate, in association with the Indian Community in Jeddah, has already distributed 15,475 kg’s of food stuff and other items.
“I appeal to 30 lakhs Indians in Saudi Arabia. Please help your fellow brothers and sisters. There is nothing mightier than the collective will of Indian nation,” Swaraj said.