So many people are in fear of losing their jobs and some have already lost it. The plummet in the fuel prices has stabbed the gulf economies in the back and the corporate are struggling to avert the bleeding in red.
From the past three months the world has been waking up into dreadful days. Humanity is fighting with a catastrophic pandemic which it has never seen before. All people around the globe have tasted the bitterness of the pandemic in one way or another. To reign in the astonishing spread of the virus all the countries are implementing stringent measures on war footing. Since the world still lacks a proper vaccine or medicine to handle the pandemic, social vaccination is the only plausible tool in the disposal of the governments to counter the virus. These social distancing measures and nation wide lock down has played an incredible role in flattening the curve of infection around the world, especially in India.
Albeit the situation in India is not as grim as other developed nations like the US and Britain, the condition of Indians staying abroad is still dire. Following the hike in corona deaths in countries like the US, Italy, Britain and UAE, the migrants in those countries are facing turmoil. The Non-Resident Indians (NRI), which is one of the largest diaspora spread throughout the globe have been stranded in foreign countries and are struggling to come back home.
“Coming back home and to be with my family is now like an egg in the moonshine, Because in the current circumstances, I am afraid that, if I reach India also people will raise fingers at me and will accuse me as a carrier. NRIs are showing positive cases even after 28 days, this will certainly create panic among the public. So, I thought of staying back “ says Jafeer V Khader, an electromechanical system designer working in Qatar.
People strangled in the labour camp during the lock down are having a miserable life. With the beginning of the month of Ramadan, the situation will be more bleak in Arab countries. The fear of unavailability of food and water even for the people who don’t observe fasting is permeating in the labour camps and other spheres of lock down.
“Dubai Health Authority(DHA) is in charge of shifting patients to hospitals. But sometimes they will be appearing even after three to four days after reporting. Such lackadaisical and apathetic attitude from the authorities is mounting depression and anxiety among the whole labour camp”said Rasheed Mubarak, a maintenance operator who has been working in Dubai for seven years.
There were some people like Noufal, who just reached Dubai and quarantined for one month. Noufal is a driver from Trivandrum, he said that he will try to cling on to this gulf irrespective of the condition because this is his last hope for survival.
So many people are in fear of losing their jobs and some have already lost it. The plummet in the fuel prices has stabbed the gulf economies in the back and the corporate are struggling to avert the bleeding in red. To close their account books in profit, much of the entities are resorting to the most plausible and easiest method, to axe employees.
As per government regulation, they have introduced a new policy that there is no need to give wages for people staying indoors. If any philanthropist company is willing to give their employees wages who are not attending the work they can but the employees are not allowed to bargain for their daily bread.
Anson Simon, a Thrissur native went to Abu Dhabi on Feb 22 for shutdown work for LNG projects. He was about to leave the place on 31 st and got stuck due to the cancellation of flights to India. From 31st onwards he was in a labour camp at Al Khazna, along with 1500 Indians and Pakistanis. He said that those who are suffering from breathing problems and cough are not taken to hospitals or provided proper treatment. They are only shifted to hospitals when their conditions are extremely bad.
“We are suffering from mental trauma, we don’t know how to tackle the situation. Even the food we are getting is not at all good or healthy. I came here for a short term, but never thought that things would end up like this”said Anson.
The negligence from the central government is enraging the NRIs in gulf countries.
The Scenario in the UK is also not much different from these countries. The group which affected the most are the student community. They are stranded there, some even without adequate supplies, and can’t return home. Amidst these predicaments they are having online classes and assignments. Moreover, the rent agreement they have signed with their landlords is the last straw for them. They are running out of money and groceries. Most of the NRI students who were resorting to part-time blue collar jobs for their sustenance are now facing an existential crisis.
“Lock down is both financially and psychologically taxing. One hour permission for the morning exercise is a huge stress buster for me.”Parthan Nandakumar, MBA student in England
NRI communities and expatriate workers are seeking the help and permission from the central government of India to get back to their home. They are willing to get isolated or home quarantined and to follow every rules and regulations imposed by the nation once they are back to their soil. But the lack of response and empathy from their own government results in agony of Indians residing in these labour camps. There are already criticisms that the laxity of the government and even the apex court towards the Gulf NRIs even after repeated appeals from the Arab countries to take back the Indian citizens is due to the fact that, majority NRIs in the gulf are Muslims and Keralites, which seems to be a toxic cocktail for the BJP-led Central government.
The Indian government has given a preference list which has pregnant women, aged people, women and children as the priority, but the pandemic doesn’t seem to follow a gender bias and can affect any human being irrespective of their age, gender, race etc. If a government is capable enough to spend thousands of crores on erecting statues and hundred thousand crores on buying aircrafts and building roads, then it should be capable of supporting and bringing back their own citizens to this country. Period.