CHANDIGARH: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Badal, here on Thursday, urged External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar to help around 20,000 Punjabi workers stranded without passports in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and take steps to bring them back.
In a statement, the SAD chief said around 20,000 Punjabis had lost jobs in private companies in Dubai. They wanted to return, but couldn't as their passports had been impounded by employers.
Badal urged the External Affairs Minister to ask the Indian Consulate in Dubai to take up the issue with the Emirates authorities and get the passports returned to workers.
He said most of those workers had applied online for return to India but could not return because of lack of passports.
Badal said many youths were ready to pay for their air tickets and urged the Centre to intervene urgently.
The SAD president told the External Affairs Minister while some of the workers could return by air, there thousands others were not in a position to buy return tickets as they had exhausted their savings.
To rescue them naval ships could be sent to bring them back home, he said and also urged Jaishankar to ask the Indian Consulate to extend financial help to workers who lacked money to purchase food items.