SC issues notice to Centre on PIL to rescue Indian workers
The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Central government on a plea filed by Gulf Telangana Welfare and Cultural Association president Pathkuri Basanth Reddy urging the Supreme Court to direct the government to bring back workers from the Gulf countries.
A bench of Justices NV Ramana, Aniruddha Bose and Surya Kant issued notice to the Centre as well as the CBI and sought their response on the Public Interest Litigation (PIL), which highlighted that around 44 Indians are facing death sentences and 33,940 Indian workers have died in the past six years in the Gulf countries.
The PIL submitted that a comprehensive scheme should be prepared to assist Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) who either lost their jobs or who have been cheated by agents or employers so that they can return to India and get employment.
According to the PIL, when the workers are sent to Gulf countries by agents, they are given very low salaries or sometimes even payment of salary is not done. It also averred that some of them were sold by the agents and there is no life security.
The plea also stated that, due to the adverse circumstances many of them are compelled to become bonded slaves. It further read, "There are many incidents of people sent through agents sold out to locals. Women workers are harassed and forced to become sex workers. In some cases women workers were beaten and locked up in houses."
According to the plea, the workers employed in the Gulf countries were subjected to abuse and exploitation, long tedious working hours.
The government should also evolve a comprehensive policy to bring dead bodies of Indians who died in Gulf and other foreign countries back to India, the plea said.