A total of 200 Indian blue-collar workers welcomed the New Year with a unique breakfast session with the Consul-General of India in Dubai, Dr Aman Puri. The workers also had the opportunity to learn about the importance of compound interest on savings and underwent medical check-ups on Friday.
On January 1, the Consulate General of India in Dubai, in collaboration with the Pravasi Bhartiya Sahayata Kendra (PBSK), launched the ‘Breakfast with the Consul General’ community welfare outreach programme.
The 200 workers, living at the Larsen and Toubro workers’ accommodation in Dubai Investment Park, participated in the first edition of the what is expected to be a monthly community outreach. As part of this workers’ initiative, Dr Puri and other senior diplomats and officers with the Indian mission in Dubai will visit one labour camp every month and organise financial literacy programmes, medical camps, hear grievances of the workers, and conduct special talent shows as well, according to Neeraj Agarwal, Consul (Press, Information, Culture) at the Indian Consulate in Dubai.
Addressing the workers, Dr Puri said: “The Indian government and the rest of India has immense respect and value for workers living in the UAE. You have left behind your families and have come here to work, however, the entire country is in your debt, thanks to your contributions.” He said remittances made by workers contribute immensely to India’s GDP.
Agarwal explained: “The main objective of this programme is to take first-hand feedback from the workers, especially about the issues they are facing.” The two most essential components of the programme are imparting financial literacy and the medical camps.
“In collaboration with PBSK, we spoke to the workers about the magic of compounded savings, the National Pension Scheme and other savings schemes suited to them,” he added.
“At today’s event, one of the major grievances raised by the workers was that they missed their friends who were forced to return home amid the Covid-19 crisis,” he added. The officers also inspected the labour camp for safety and hygiene issues. “We have also urged all Indians to save the PBSK hotline number 80046342 on their mobile phones as this will be a one-stop shop for grievances faced by all Indians,” Agarwal said.
“A talent and cultural show for the workers will also be organised during the breakfast sessions, and on days when a major Indian festival is upcoming, the session will be organised closer to that date. For example, we have Holi coming up in March… we are hoping to organise the session on a Friday closest to the day Holi falls,” said Agarwal.
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