Indians go to work in Gulf countries dreaming of huge salaries that will solve all their financial worries, but a majority of them stay poor, a survey has found.
Indians arrive in countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) after paying a huge sum to recruitment agents. Many agents make false promises of high salaries, a good working environment and free accommodation to attract the workers.
But when they arrive at a GCC country and join work, the workers realise most of the promises were false, a survey by Kozhikode-based Pravasi Bandhu Welfare Trust has found.
The survey conducted among 10,100 middle and low-income expatriate Indians in GCC countries found only 5 per cent had enough financial resources to live off the interest when they return. Only 2 per cent of the family members actually save something from the remittance that is sent home.
The report said that in many cases this reality check leads to very complex psychological and socio-economic problems among expatriate Indians. The suicide rate among Indian expatriates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has increased year by year due to depression related to financial crises. In 2004, there were 70 cases, in 2005 it increased to 84 and in 2006 it touched 100.
Living away from the family for a long time and demands from the families for support without considering the real situation of the expatriate are other major problems.
A majority of the suicides are by expatriates from Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, the report said.
Pravasi Bandhu Welfare Trust works for the welfare of low and middle income Indians working in GCC countries, giving them guidance in financial matters.
Sixty five per cent of the Indian expatriate population in GCC countries belong to Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Punjab, Rajasthan, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.