EQUALITY INDIA NEWS IS A SHAKTI VAHINI / NATIONAL LEGAL RESEARCH DESK INITIATIVE
Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has entered into Bilateral Labour Agreements with UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan and Malaysia. Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has taken several initiatives for safeguarding the welfare and protection of Indian workers going abroad. These include the following:
(i) Establishment of Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) in the Indian Missions to provide immediate relief to the Indian workers in need and distress.
(ii) Overseas Workers Resource Centre (OWRC) at New Delhi. This centre has 24×7 helpline and walk-in counseling centre to provide information and to handle workers problems. This centre uses 8 Indian languages and has a toll free number.
(iii) Bilateral Social Security Agreements (SSA) for protection of the interests of Indian professionals going abroad.
(iv) Indian Workers Resource Centre (IWRC) at Dubai for providing information to the Indian workers and to handle their problems.
Government has received report of 23 workers from Odisha deployed at the site of commissioning of a cement plant at Bangui, Central African Republic, living in poor and unhygienic conditions. In another case, workers from Odisha who were deployed for the execution of a power plant in Sudan, a project under execution by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) have complained of harassment and non-payment of assured wages, food, shelter etc. and have requested for their repatriation.
Indian Embassy at Kinshasa has reported that Shri Narendra Malik had died of sickness on 24th June, 2011 in Bangui. Central African Republic is a malaria-prone country. Living conditions in the country are difficult and medical facilities are extremely poor. Embassy of India, Sudan has informed that of 216 workers, 198 have returned to India by 31.10.2010 and 18 workers have agreed to continue to work in Sudan. Regarding the 23 workers in Bangui, the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs had taken up the matter with the Indian Embassy, Kinshasa for their immediate and safe return to India. With the intervention of Embassy of India, Kinshasa, all the 23 workers have since been repatriated.
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