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Indian Labourers In The Middle East Toil For Us, But The Wealthy NRI Is Our Hero

Giving a new meaning to the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.
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Narendra Modi addresses delegates during the second day of the Fifth 'Pravasi Bharatiya Divas' (Overseas Indian conference) in New Delhi, 08 January 2007.
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Narendra Modi addresses delegates during the second day of the Fifth 'Pravasi Bharatiya Divas' (Overseas Indian conference) in New Delhi, 08 January 2007.

When India talks Pravasi, the quintessential image is that of a loaded NRI from North America or Europe; or for esoteric reasons, somebody from the Caribbean, Mauritius or South Africa or even Surinam, whose forefathers left Indian shores as desperate labourers in the 19th century.

According to the latest figures of the World Bank, at US$ 69 billion a year, India is the biggest beneficiary of remittances.

When one further disaggregates data, the Centre's attitude appears more unfair. Out of all the remittances India receive, about US $ 15 billion are the earnings of the people from Kerala in the Middle East - most of them low-wage labourers and semi-skilled workers.

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This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost India, which closed in 2020. Some features are no longer enabled. If you have questions or concerns about this article, please contact indiasupport@huffpost.com.