World

NEW DELHI – The Indian government has come to the rescue of more than 10,000 of their starving citizens in Saudi Arabia after a man tweeted to India’s foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and asked her to help around 800 Indians in Jeddah who had not eaten for three days.

India said on Sunday that it would send a government minister to Saudi Arabia to try to bring back more than 10,000 Indian workers who were facing a “food crisis” and unable to afford meals after being laid off from their jobs.

Low oil prices have forced the Saudi government to slash spending since last year, putting heavy pressure on the finances of local construction firms which rely on state contracts.

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As a result, some companies have been struggling to pay foreign workers and have laid off tens of thousands, leaving many with no money for food or tickets back home.

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India’s Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday said over 10,000 Indians in Saudia Arabia and Kuwait were facing a “food crisis” because of economic hardships. She also appealed to the estimated 3 million Indians living in Saudi Arabia for help.

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“Large number of Indians have lost their jobs in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The employers have not paid wages, closed down their factories,” she tweeted.

India’s Consul General Mohammad Noor Rehman Sheikh told a news agency: “For the last seven months these Indian workers of Saudi Oger were not getting their salaries and the company had also stopped providing food to these workers.”

The Saudi government says it will investigate complaints against companies not paying wages and will fine them if proven.

The Indian government is now putting in place a plan to evacuate a large number of Indians from the oil rich countries.