Fund for needy expats

BAHRAIN has become one of the 17 countries where needy Indian workers will benefit from a special fund instituted by the Indian government.

Under the scheme, the Overseas Indian Affairs Ministry will allocate Rs1.5 million (about BD12,000) towards the Indian Community Welfare Fund, which will be administered by the embassy.

The money will be utilised for helping Indian workers in distress, said embassy charge d’ affaires Ajay Kumar.

“This will be mainly used to help unskilled and household workers in emergency situations,” he told the GDN.

“The fund will also be used to repatriate the bodies of Indian workers, in situations where the sponsors fail to meet their obligations, and to provide emergency medical aid.

“We shall also try to provide one-way tickets to stranded workers, and offer legal aid to those workers in need.”

Mr Kumar said the beneficiaries would be chosen by the ambassador, who has the discretion to do so after studying the merit of each case.

The ministry has chosen the Indian missions in the GCC countries and Malaysia for the grant of Rs1.5m each.

Other countries where a fund of Rs500,000 (BD4,000) each is allocated are Libya, Jordan, Yemen, Sudan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Syria, Lebanon, Thailand and Iraq.

The assistance given by the embassy in Bahrain to workers in need is in addition to the support provided for them by the Indian Community Relief Fund, which is a non-governmental organisation.