DOHA: Amid concerns over high number of deaths of Indian workers in Qatar, the Indian embassy in Doha sought to downplay the issue, saying that the number was “quite normal”.
It released the data showing the number of Indians dying has varied only marginally over the past four years in Qatar which is the host of the 2022 football World Cup.
The embassy said 233 Indians died in 2010, 239 in 2011, 237 in 2012, 241 in 2013 and 37 in 2014, saying “most of the deaths are by natural causes. It is, therefore, inappropriate to use these figures in a distorted manner.”
Recently, media reports have said more than 450 Indian migrants working in Qatar have died in the last two years.
However, National Human Rights Committee, which is close to the Qatar government, this week said the death of over 450 Indian workers in almost two years in the country was “normal” given the size of the 500,000-strong community.
“Qatar continues to take several measures to further improve the living and working conditions of workers, and for further strengthening administrative, legal and other mechanisms to safeguard workers’ interests,” the embassy said.
Indian nationals comprise the largest expatriate community in Qatar and the two countries have historically enjoyed close and friendly relations.
“Government of India and its Diplomatic Missions accord utmost priority to the welfare of Indian nationals abroad. The Embassy has a regular, active and broad-based outreach to the Indian community in Qatar.
“We are grateful for the cooperation and support of the authorities concerned in Qatar in ensuring the welfare of Indian nationals and in following up their problems/cases,” the statement said.
It said that these issues are also discussed at the Joint Working Group on Human Resources between the two governments.
The embassy has a monthly Open House to address any urgent consular and labor issues/cases. The Ambassador and other officers meet all visitors to the Open House.
According to the embassy, considering the large size of the community, the number of complaints is also small – 3264 in 2010, 3186 in 2011, 3385 in 2012, 3558 in 2013 and 513 in 2014. Every complaint is followed up actively with local authorities, the statement added.
According to reports, there are some 1.35 million foreign nationals – including from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal – working in Qatar. Migrant workers make up some 94 per cent of the total workforce in the country.–PTI