Sharjah: Hundreds of blue-collar Indian workers stranded in Sharjah for months were on Saturday provided accommodation until they can return home on repatriation flights, social organisations told Gulf News.
Around 300 workers made redundant by different companies were staying at an under-construction building in Industrial Area 3 for three to four months, said S.V. Reddy, convenor of the Non-Resident Indian Cell in Dubai for Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC).
TPCC and Indian Association Sharjah (IAS) co-ordinated with various Sharjah government departments so they could provide relief for the workers, who on Saturday moved into an accommodation facility of Sharjah Police Academy, Reddy added.
IAS president E.P. Johnson thanked Sharjah officials, including from police, immigration and workers’ affairs departments, for facilitating accommodation and assistance for the workers.
Most of the workers are Telugu-speaking expats from India’s Telangana state; followed by those from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh; 18 from Uttar Pradesh, 12 from Punjab, and some from Kolkata, Reddy said.
Forty of them are “ready to travel” soon on India’s ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ repatriation flights from UAE to India; all have registered for the scheme, he added.
“In co-ordination with IAS, Sharjah government and the Indian consulate in Dubai, we had been arranging, food, water, masks, sanitisers, daily essentials and assistance to the workers, who had lost their jobs because of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. IAS also supplied beds, mattresses and blankets,” Reddy said.
“As they were stranded, there were staying at an under-construction building… Thanks to the Sharjah government, they have been given accommodation now. We will now focus on assisting with the formalities for their repatriation.
“I would like to thank the UAE and Sharjah government for really helping the workers. I’m really happy about this.”
He added that all necessary documents have been made available to start the process of repatriating the workers.