Over 14,600 distress calls received by Indian hotline in UAE

A hotline for UAE-based Indians in distress received more than 14,600 calls last year, mostly for work and wage-related issues, officials said on Monday.

PTI| Updated: Aug 05, 2014, 01:01 AM IST

Dubai: A hotline for UAE-based Indians in distress received more than 14,600 calls last year, mostly for work and wage-related issues, officials said on Monday.
Calls were also received for debt problems, confiscation of passports, contract violations, bad working conditions and harassment at work, officials at Indian Consulate in Dubai said.

Most of the distress calls were made for work and wage- related issues.

The round-the-clock toll-free number was launched in 2010 under the aegis of Indian Workers Resource Centre (IWRC), a part of Indian Consulate in Dubai, to offer legal, psychological and financial counselling for Indians in the UAE.

The hotline staff is trained to speak in eight different Indian languages including Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Malayalam and Bengali.

Over the years, IWRC saw a steady increase in the number of distress calls made every day.

"On an average we are receiving nearly 60 calls a day this year. This is a significant increase from last year when we were receiving 40-45 distress calls a day," an official at the IWRC told.

Besides, IWRC also runs awareness campaigns about labour rights for the Indian workers in UAE, official said, adding IWRC will hold a campaign in Sharjah soon to publicise the toll-free number among workers.

At present the helpline is working with a dedicated staff of eight people, but we may expand our resources and staff depending on our requirements, the official said.

"All given advice is in accordance with the UAE labour laws and other applicable rules," another official told Gulf News.

IWRC also runs a shelter home for the runaway maids and deserted house wives, besides managing an open house at the Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi and the consulate in Dubai.