Riyadh, Apr 11 (): ‘ Expat Ride’ is a 100-page book authored by a Riyadh-based Indian journalist Mohammed Saifuddin and joint editor of Yahind.com. It is the first publication from www.YaHind.com, the popular website of the NRIs in Gulf countries. The book delves into many concerns and issues of NRIs residing and working in Gulf countries.
Armed with his journalistic experience back home through his association with India’s largest circulated Munsif Urdu daily, Hyderabad and Awam Urdu Daily, Mr Saifuddin has dealt with various issues of NRIs in Gulf countries.
The book was released here by Mohammed Ali Shabbir, the ex-minister of NRI affairs, the government of Andhra Pradesh, who expressed that the problems of working and living conditions of Indian workers in Gulf countries are different from NRIs in other countries and they should be dealt separately.
‘Expat Ride’ covers some topics as below:
The New Direct Tax Code that aims to bring NRIs under the tax net by the Indian government in place of old Income Tax Act in which the author presents the real situation of Indians here with supporting data collected by a survey. This survey revealed that most of the Indian workers in Gulf countries return home empty-handed.
The author argues that the Indians in Gulf countries should not be referred as NRIs but rather as Indian contract workers in Gulf countries.
The Expat Ride also deals with other shocking trends of Indian labourers falling prey to money-lending through hawala rackets, poor efficacy of Right to Information (RTI) Act to seek information from Indian embassy and the prevailing high rates of depression among Indians.
He suggests introducing postal ballot, online polling or voting at Indian missions during elections enabling full participation of all NRIs.
The “Expat Ride” author pinpoints the efficient use of funds by the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) by the Indian Consulate General in Dubai that paved way for release of Indian prisoners from various jails. He suggests opening such Indian missions in other Gulf countries too.
The book also talks about the amendments made in the Emigration Act 1983 by the Indian government to check mistreatment by recruiting agents and its impact on the intending immigrants seeking employment in Gulf countries.
‘Expat Ride’ also has a write-up about the newly launched Passport Seva Kendras and an article about the pension and insurance scheme announced by the Indian government recently.
Highlighting the many problems faced by the contract workers at US embassies in Gulf countries, the author shows that the plight of these workers is akin to that of contract workers in small firms.
being a maiden attempt, ‘Expat Ride’ also takes you through ‘reverse brain drain’, attempts by Gulf countries to put a cap on remittances of expats and the role of madarasas in Bihar where Hindus are taking up courses like Moulvi and Alim to land jobs in Gulf countries.
“Expat Ride” promises to be a useful and rich source of information for people interested in discovering the real lives of expatriates in Gulf countries.