Saudi Arabia’s move to shut doors on migrants sets off alarm bells in Kerala

Clutching his two minor daughters, Hameed Ansal stands before his half-built house in Beypore on the outskirts of Kozhikkode in north Kerala, uncertain about his future. Ansal had come on a vacation from Saudi Arabia, where he has been working at a mobile phone store in a sprawling mall for the past eight years. But, now like many other migrant workers, he’s not certain about his job as the oil-rich country has recently extended its Saudi nationalisation scheme, or nitaqat in Arabic, to 12 more activities and occupations to provide more jobs to its citizens.

The order has set off alarm bells in faraway Kerala, home to 2.2million expatriate community. After United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia gives maximum employment to Keralites, around 8 lakh (0. 8 million), as per an estimate of the Centre for Development Studies (CDS), a premier social science research institution based in the state.

After United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia gives maximum employment to Keralites, around 8 lakh (0. 8 million)

Local bodies and self-help groups have been asked to extend all help to those returning from Saudi Arabia. The Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre, an organisation working among expatriate community, says of late on an average 5000 people have been returning from Saudi Arabia per month.

Source Credit: Hindustan Times

 

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