WITH NEARLY 10,000 Indian workers reportedly starving for the last three days in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, after losing their jobs, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Saturday said the Indian Embassy has been directed to serve them food and External Affairs MoS V K Singh is travelling to Saudi Arabia to sort out the issue.
“The number of Indian workers facing food crisis in Saudi Arabia is over Ten Thousand. It is not 800 as is being reported,” Swaraj tweeted. “Efforts are on to reach out to each n every Indian to help them overcome this crisis. Indian Consulate in association with Indian Community Jeddah distributed 15,475 kgs of food stuff besides eggs, spices, salt etc.”
The minister’s response came following a tweet from a man who said around 800 Indians are starving for the last three days in Jeddah and sought her intervention. “We have asked @IndianEmbRiyadh to provide free ration to the unemployed Indian workers in Saudi Arabia,” Swaraj tweeted.
She said MoS External Affairs M J Akbar will take up the issue with Kuwait and Saudi authorities. “My colleagues @Gen_VKSingh will go to Saudi Arabia to sort out these matters and @MJakbar will take up with Kuwait and Saudi authorities.” She also said, “I assure you that no Indian worker rendered unemployed in Saudi Arabia will go without food. I am monitoring this on hourly basis.”
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 factories. “As a result our brothers and sisters in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are facing extreme hardship,” she said, adding that the situation in Kuwait is “manageable”, and matters are much “worse” in Saudi Arabia.