Govt must bring back Indians stranded abroad: Cong

Jaiveer Shergill

New Delhi, May 3 (IANS) After the government eased inter-state travel and allowed special trains to help migrant workers reach their homes, the Congress, here on Sunday, demanded measures for return of workers and students stranded abroad.

Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill said the government was not willing to handle this humanitarian issue. “India has rich precedent of evacuating Indians stranded abroad. For the first time, they have been left to the mercy of god,” Shergill told IANS.

Stating that the Prime Minister says Indian passports hold strength, he said then why these passport holders were not being treated well. “The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is not respecting Indians stuck abroad. No assurance. No evacuation,” Shergill said.

While the government was helping foreigners by deploying Air India to evacuate them, it was ignoring Indian tourists and students stranded abroad, he said.

The Congress, which also raised the issue at its working committee meeting, feels evacuation of stranded Indians has already been delayed too much. “A large number of Indians are stranded abroad, waiting to return home and join their families. Onus lies on the government to ensure their safe return, after adequate testing, by operating special flights,” the CWC had said.

As per the Ministry of External Affairs, over 20,000 foreign nationals have been evacuated to different parts of the world by the government. “Why the government is not showing the same zest towards Indians,” the Congress said.

According to reports, of the 31 million Indians abroad, 8.5 million are in the Gulf nations. They constitute 30 per cent of the expatriate work force in the Middle East.

Around 200,000 Indians study in the USA, 16,000 in the Philippines, and many in Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Russia, Kyrgyzstan and other countries.

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