Shattered by the news of the death of their sons in a bomb blast in Iraq on May 8, two families in Tamil Nadu are waiting for help from the state government and the Centre to bring back their bodies. But there has been no official word either from the state government or the external affairs ministry so far. Read it in the Times of India
Five months back, Saji Pansley returned empty-handed from Jordan after a two-and-half year stint as a domestic worker. She went there for work after an ‘agent’ lured her with “lucrative job opportunities”. Her village, Periyadalai in Tuticorin, had been ravaged by the tsunami and she was desperate for money.
Over 25 Indians, including seven from Tamil Nadu, are languishing in jails in Israel after being cheated by job rackets. According to Kav LaOved, an NGO working for the protection of rights of disadvantaged workers employed in Israel and by Israelis in the occupied territories, the Indians landed in batches between December 2007 and April 2008. In a digest of complaints submitted to the immigration administration of Israel, which is available with this newspaper, Kav LaOved said that on December 3, 2007, 10 workers, who arrived in Tel Aviv through a manpower recruitment agency, were charged $5,000 at the airport for work permits, but they did not get jobs. Instead, they ended up losing their money and legal status. Read the article in the “Times of India“
Hundreds of job seekers are being cheated by overseas manpower recruitment agencies and even though the government has blacklisted several of them no action is being taken, says Dr Bernard D’ Sami of Arunodhaya Migrant Initiatives, an organization that works for migrant workers in the state.
The seventh edition of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, which opens here on Wednesday, could see the plight of Indian workers abroad being discussed. While the annual conclave of people of Indian origin is a networking opportunity for participants and a chance for state governments to attract investment, many feel it should also accord priority to discussing rehabilitation of those returning to their homeland.
Even as the ministry of overseas Indian affairs is all set to release India’s first-ever policy on migration at the annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2009, there are allegations that the government has not considered the real problems of millions of Indians abroad.
Yet another Indian Diaspora annual conclave has come and gone. Yet again, there was a refusal on the part of the Indian authorities to address burning issues affecting non-resident Indians (NRIs) in the Gulf region. “Engaging the Diaspora — the Way Forward,” was the theme of the 7th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) ’09 that concluded at Chennai on Friday. Can there really be a way forward only with forming an international council of a bunch of leading lights or distributing citizenship cards to those who never wish to return to India?.
Every year, over one-lakh young men leave the villages of Tamil Nadu brimming with hopes of a better future abroad. Most borrow loans at exorbitant interest rates, mortgage or sell their land or wife’s jewellery to get the money to pay an agent. For most of these semiliterate men, the dazzle in their eyes does not last beyond the airports of their host countries.
There is hardly a man to be seen in Sadras, a village near Kalpakkam, about 60 km from Chennai. On street after street, busy women bustle along picking children up from schools, shopping, going to the bank and running households. The only males you will find are the very old or the very young; the rest have migrated for work abroad.
The dream seems to be over with the Gulf losing its glitter and allure as a land where money and more money can be made. With the global economic recession kicking in, nearly five lakh skilled and unskilled Indian workers are packing up and leaving the Gulf region.