President launches 24×7 help line for India expatriate community in UAE

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

DUBAI - The Indian community, which is 1.75 million strong and is the largest expatriate community in the United Arab Emirates, got an 24 hours help line dedicated to them on Tuesday.

The Gulf region is home to over five million-strong Indian diaspora and the help line will boost India’s multi-faceted ties with the West Asia region.
President Patil, who is here in the first leg of her visit to the United Arab Emirates and Syria, inaugurated the Indian Workers Resource Centre, which will provide a 24-hour help line and counselling services to workers from the country who are in distress.

“I am happy to launch today, the Indian Workers’ Resource Center which, apart from assistance including counseling, will provide a 24-hour help line for workers. I hope that the Indian community will extend all assistance to the Indian Mission in UAE to enable this Center to fulfill its responsibilities,” she said, while launching the help line.

Speaking at the Indian community reception hosted in her honour, President Patil said that the expatriate community here is a valuable goodwill ambassadors for India and their contributions have been appreciated by the rulers of UAE.

“You have been an integral part of the success story in which the UAE has made rapid strides transforming itself, in a single generation, into a global economic powerhouse. Through your collective efforts and hard work, you have built enduring institutions, and this India Club is one such symbol of your laudable achievements,” she said.

The help line is an initiative of the Ministry of Overseas Affairs (MOIA) and has been established after complaints from many expatriate workers about various issues relating to their living and working conditions.

The Indian population working here very often gets into problems with their contracts and they need to contact the embassy in a hurry. They can also seek help in distress if they have injuries, and need to be repatriated urgently.

The MOIA will also be organising a meeting in New Delhi of the Heads of Missions in the Gulf region by the end of this month to address issues relating to the welfare of workers.

Remittances to India from the UAE in 2008-09 were about 12 billion dollars, accounting for a third of all money sent to India from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

President Patil arrived in Dubai this evening after her visit to Abu Dhabi.

The UAE is a significant trading and energy security partner, and bilateral trade was valued at 43.4 billion dollar in 2009-10. In 2009-10, the UAE had emerged as India’s top export destination, accounting for 13.41 per cent of the country’s total exports. The country is also among the top five suppliers of crude oil to ndia. By Praful Kumar Singh(ANI)

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