About 10 workers from India died everyday on an average during the last six years in Gulf countries, which contribute over half of total foreign remittances to the country, a voluntary group has said on the basis of RTI replies.
There were about 22.53 lakh Indian workers in the six Gulf countries in 2017, according to figures of External Affairs Ministry presented in response to a Rajya Sabha question on August 26, 2018.
In his RTI application, Venkatesh Nayak from Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative had sought to know from the External Affairs Ministry the data about deaths of Indian workers in Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates from January 1, 2012 till about mid-2018.
The data was provided by Indian missions in Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia but the Embassy in the UAE refused to give information, he said. The Indian embassy in Kuwait referred to data on their website which was only 2014 onwards.
Mr Nayak said Indians working in Gulf countries accounted for more than half of the remittance that India received from all over the world between 2012 and 2017.
"While India received a total of $410.33 billion in remittances from the world over, remittances from the Gulf countries accounted for $209.07 billion," he said.
In order to fill gaps in data regarding deaths, Mr Nayak said he used data provided in Parliamentary questions in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
"Available data indicates, at least 24,570 Indian Workers died in the six Gulf countries between 2012 and mid-2018. This number could increase if the complete figures for Kuwait and UAE are made available publicly. This amounts to more than 10 deaths per day during this period," he said.