Hyderabad: On the occasion of International Migrant Day on 18 December, members of the Telangana Gulf Workers Joint Action Committee (GULF JAC) submitted memorandum to tahsildars in various mandals across the state demanding the establishment of Telangana Gulf Workers Welfare Board (Gulf Board).

Gulf JAC sought payment of salaries due and end of service benefits to repatriated migrant workers who came back to India from Gulf countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gulf migrant workers celebrated International Migrant Day on Friday in various parts of Telangana. GULF JAC, a coalition of Telangana diaspora and migrant workers organisations, organised a Gulf Bharosa Yatra in collaboration with National Workers Welfare Trust (NWWT), Emigrants Welfare Forum (EWF), and Pravasi MithraLabour Union (PMLU).

"Gulf workers are working under the hot sun to earn a rupee. The Union and state governments are benefitting from the foreign exchange. They are using Gulf migrants as cash cows and money-making machines but are not providing any welfare schemes to the workers," said Swadesh Parkipandla, the president of PMLU who led the delegation at Laxman Chanda tahsil office in Nirmal district.

Guggilla Ravi Goud, the convener of Gulf JAC who submitted the memorandum to the tahsildar at Medipally in Jagtial district, said, "Those who have gone abroad, including the Gulf, are known as NRIs or expatriate Indians. Those who have gone to America, Europe, and the Gulf countries cannot be compared. So, it is not advisable to come up with a common policy for all Telangana NRIs. The Telangana Gulf Workers Welfare Board (Gulf Board) should be set up for the welfare of low-skilled and low-paid workers, keeping in view the special living conditions in the Gulf countries."

Aleem, a migrant leader who submitted a memorandum at Jannaram tahsildar office in Mancherial district said repatriated migrant workers from Gulf countries should be paid arrears by their employers and end of service benefits such as bonus, PF, and gratuity in view of the pandemic. "The Central and state governments should cooperate to provide legal aid in foreign labour courts seeking justice for wage theft."

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