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10,000 Indians stranded in Saudi Arabia: 10 things you must know!
About 10,000 Indians are stranded in Saudi Arabia. Sushma Swaraj, the External Affairs Minister, has assured that they will be evacuated soon and no one will go without food as rations have been already sent to them. The minister also said that her deputy VK Singh will leave for the country on Tuesday to check the evacuation process.

The minister made the statement after the concerns were raised by the members in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. Sushma Swaraj informed that the Indian embassy was running five camps to make sure that everyone gets food and other helps.

Apart from this, the minister also said that she was continuously in touch with concerned authorities for all the developments.

Here are 10 things you must know about the ongoing crisis:

1. Sushma Swaraj on Saturday said that more than 10,000 Indians in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are struggling for food due to ongoing financial crisis in the country. "Large number of Indians have lost their jobs in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The employers have not paid wages (and) closed down their factories," the minister tweeted.

2. "As a result our brothers and sisters in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are facing extreme hardship. While situation in Kuwait is manageable, matters are much worse in Saudi Arabia," the minister added.

3. Due to the low oil prices, the Saudi government was forced to slash spending since last year. The move had put pressure on the finances of local construction firms that were relying on state contracts. Eventually, the companies had been struggling to pay foreign workers.

4. Thus, thousands of employees including Indians were laid off by these companies. Now, these workers have no money for food let alone for tickets home.

5. Swaraj, while urging millions of Indians in the country to help their "fellow brothers and sisters", said on Saturday that there was nothing "mightier" than the collective will of the Indian nation. "I assure you that no Indian worker rendered unemployed in Saudi Arabia will go without food. I am monitoring this on hourly basis," she said in another tweet.

6. The government is frequently in touch with the foreign and labour offices in Saudi Arabia to ensure the early evacuation of Indians. The minister emphasized that she is "personally monitoring the situation on hourly basis." Apart from that she also ensured that Minister of State for External Affairs, VK Singh, would visit Saudi Arabia to assist those who want to return home (India).

7. As per the claims made by Swaraj, the government is also in talks with Saudi authorities to make sure that employees who haven't been paid their salaries for months, get the dues they deserve.

8. The Indian consulate posted a series of images on Twitter on Sunday. In the pictures, Indian workers can be seen queuing up for food packets, spices, eggs and salt given by its officials.

9. About three million Indians are living and working in Saudi Arabia. As per the foreign ministry, it constitutes one of the largest populace of Indians outside the country.

10. The Saudi government claims that it is probing the complaints made against the companies for not paying wages. It said, if required, they have to pay it with fines and other penalties.

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