Sunday, 7 February 2010

Reverse exodus of migrant workers in Persian Gulf challenges India

KOCHI, INDIA -- When his overnight flight landed, Abdul Wahib walked out of Kochi's palm-fringed airport and hugged his family. After 24 years of working in the United Arab Emirates, he was home. He carried a suitcase and a layoff notice: His well-paid job as a forklift operator at Dubai's once-bustling port was terminated.

Wahib's airplane was filled with Indian laborers, some fired by text messages, dozens owed months of back pay.

"My flight was full of shocked men, sad men. I could think only of my wife and two children back in India," said Wahib, 48, who had saved enough to buy a three-bedroom house in a sleepy hamlet of coconut groves and banana trees in the southern state of Kerala. "I didn't want to disappoint them. India has become a strong nation. But it's migrants' money that has pumped through our banks and villages. I hoped I could find good work at home." Read more

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