PM breaks bread with Indian construction workers in S Arabia

PTI4_2_2016_000261A Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacts with Indian workers at the L&T residential complex in Riyadh on Saturday | PTI Photo

In a special gesture, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday broke bread with a group of Indian workers of a major construction project here.

Modi sat with the workers at the L&T workers' residential complex and had the meal with them shortly after addressing them during which he appreciated their contribution to development of Saudi Arabia.

"Eating together, hearing each other's thoughts & L&T Workers' Residential Complex in Saudi Arabia," the Prime Minister tweeted along with a picture of him having food with them. The Prime Minister's gesture was hailed by the workers.

"This is unprecedented. We will not forget it ever," said a worker from Kerala.

The Indian blue collar workers are engaged in L&T's USD 2 billion housing project here. There are over 2.96 million Indian nationals working in Saudi Arabia, the largest expatriate community in the country, and nearly 90 per cent of them are blue collar workers.

Earlier, while addressing the workers, Modi said, "Dear brothers, it is your sweat and toil that has brought me here."

The Prime Minister further said, "Your sweat and toil is the pride of India."

"Several times you and your dear ones have written to me, mentioning your hopes, heart breaks and expectations. I feel a part of your family," he said.

Hailing their contribution, Modi said India is uniquely qualified to satisfy the needs of manpower that the world requires today.

Mentioning about issues of migration, he said, the government has started a programme called "e-migrate" and it is working to regularise migration.

The Prime Minister asked the Indian workers to contact the government through the portal 'Madad', which was launched by Ministry of External Affairs to address the grievances of overseas Indians.

"Madad portal is a digital way of getting your voice to reach me. When our community faces troubles we reach out to them immediately," he said, adding "We will open more worker resource centres. A second 24X7 Call Centre will be established."

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