GULF Indian Diaspora Indian Workers in Gulf

Embassy plan for fishermen

By Sandeep Singh Grewal ,  Posted on » Saturday, November 01, 2014\

THE Indian Embassy has proposed a set of guidelines for the protection of fishermen coming to work in Bahrain.

It comes after Indian captain Karthikeyan Thangarasu died on September 22 when a Bahraini registered dhow was intercepted by the Qatari Coastguard.

The 40-year-old was fishing with his three colleagues, Rasu Rakkappan, 26, Iyyappan Andavar, 23, and Samayamuthu Malaikannan, 34, who were arrested by Qatari authorities.

Ambassador Dr Mohan Kumar said to prevent such incidents some conditions had been suggested to Indian authorities ‘“ one of which is a deposit to be paid by companies hiring fishermen.

‘We have written a letter to the Tamil Nadu government from where most fishermen come to work in the Gulf and the Overseas Indian Affairs Ministry regarding our suggestions to protect fishermen,’ said the diplomat.

He was speaking during the monthly Open House yesterday held at the embassy in Adliya.

Social workers previously urged the Indian Embassy to enforce the same law it applied for the recruitment of housemaids.

This means employers have to pay a deposit to the embassy before recruiting Indian fishermen.

‘ There is no clear definition of fishermen as they are classified in the seafarer category, which means they do not fall in the Emigration Check Required (ECR) category,’ said Dr Kumar.

According to the Indian Emigration Act of 1983, ECR passport holders ‘“ who have not completed high school ‘“ need to obtain emigration clearance to travel to 17 countries.

Dr Kumar yesterday said the embassy was also following travel ban cases, while Indian nationals serving their sentences in prison were kept in good conditions.

As of August, there were 76 men in Jaw prison and five women at the detention facility in Isa Town.

The diplomat further announced yesterday a major fundraising event by the Indian Community Relief Fund (ICRF) to be held on November 14.

‘Spectra 2014’ is an annual event, which aims to promote young talent and at the same time collect funds to help Indians in distress.

Dr Kumar said the Court of the Crown Prince had been generous in donating to the cause and supporting ICRF activities.

‘ICRF has provided financial assistance to several families, who lost their breadwinners through its free insurance schemes for low income workers,’ he added.

The ICRF last year paid about BD27,650 to families of 45 people, who died in Bahrain and who were earning less than BD100.

sandy@gdn.com.bh

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