Thiruvananthapuram: With more trouble brewing in Yemen and the international airport there being closed, the Kerala government has opened two control rooms - in Delhi and here - for the Indians stranded there, said a state minister.
All those calling from Kerala can get in touch at 18004253939 while callers from outside should dial 0914712333339. Those working in Yemen can contact officials on the following e-mails: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Minister for Diaspora KC Joseph told a news agency on Thursday that it's a bit unfortunate that people from here who are working in troubled places like Yemen, Iraq and Libya do not wake up to situations in time.
"Early this month, the Indian Embassy had announced an 'open house' in Yemen for Indians there to get registered if they wanted a smooth passage. But no one came forward. Now people want to return, but we are told that the international airport in Yemen is closed," said Joseph.
"The control rooms have been opened because we have been getting calls from relatives here for their near and dear ones in Yemen," the minister said.
"The biggest problem is that neither the state nor the Centre has any statistics on the number of Indians or for that matter Keralites who are there in Yemen. I today (Thursday) spoke to a few people who are in Yemen. They said bombings are taking place and they are unable to fly back as the airport is closed," said Joseph.
"Last month we gave a list of 70 nurses from our state who are working in Libya and they expressed their desire to return as trouble was intensifying there. The Centre followed this up with the Indian embassy in Libya and when our officials got in touch with these nurses, they said they do not want to return," added Joseph.
"There are limits to which we as a government can go. We will never ever blame people who go to work abroad. We faced numerous troubles and so did the nurses who were repatriated at the height of disturbances in Iraq. People work in areas where there are difficulties. When situation worsens, they wish to return. But now the airport at Yemen is closed. What will they do, even if they want to return," asked a worried Joseph.