NEW DELHI: Ten thousand Indian workers facing severe food shortage in Saudi Arabia due to financial hardship after being laid off from their jobs have been provided food by the Indian Consulate in Jeddah, with the help of the Indian community based there.
Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar said Saudi authorities have assured that exit visas of affected Indian workers will be processed and their wage claims considered.
Earlier, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had appealed to the 30-lakh strong Indian community there to come forward to help the workers.
“Indian Consulate (Jeddah) and Indian community’s food stuff distribution mission accomplished at 2.45 am today morning. Kudos to all,” the Indian Consulate tweeted. Swaraj also retweeted this to show that work has gone according to the plan. “All 5 camps, Shumaisi, Sisten/Macrona, Sojex, Highway, Taif taken care with supply of food materials. An effort of last four days succeeded well,” the Indian consulate further added in the tweet. In a humanitarian crisis, over 10,000 Indian workers in Saudi Arabia are facing severe food shortage after losing their jobs and the government has ordered its mission in the Gulf nation to provide food to them.
Her initial response came following a tweet by a man who said around 800 Indians were starving for the last three days.
“I assure you that no Indian worker rendered unemployed in Saudi Arabia will go without food. I am monitoring this on an hourly basis,” she had said. She later corrected news reports saying there were over 10,000 Indian workers who needed assistance.
“There is nothing mightier than the collective will of Indian nation,” Swaraj wrote on Twitter, as she appealed for the Indian community for help.
MoS for External Affairs V K Singh will visit Saudi Arabia to assess the severity of the situation of the affected Indians there.