Virendra Singh Rawat
Uttar Pradesh will send nearly 10,000 skilled workers to help Israel in its post-war reconstruction efforts following the ongoing armed conflict with Hamas.
The UP labour department has asked workers to apply for passports and other travel documents.
Israel has opened two centres in Delhi and Chennai for labour recruitment in India. UP labour minister Anil Rajbhar said efforts were being made to open another centre in Lucknow to facilitate the travel of state skilled workforce.
Each worker is expected to earn almost Rs 140,000 per month in Indian currency if they are selected to work in Israel. The work permit, with free food and lodging facilities, is likely to range from minimum one year to a maximum of five years.
The skilled workers would be supplied through National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). The prospective worker should be at least class X passed with knowledge of English.
Recently, Israel claimed to have urged the Indian government for “advancing the arrival of foreign workers from India” to the West Asian country.
Although India’s external affairs ministry later clarified the two countries did not discuss possible replacement of Palestinian labourers with Indian workers, yet the Centre maintained Indian citizens were free to go abroad and take job opportunities.
Following the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, the Israel government revoked the work permits of Palestinians workers, which stoked a crisis of skilled workers and labourers for both routine as well as post-war reconstruction efforts.
This compelled Israel to seek workforce elsewhere including India, which already contributes a sizeable chunk of skilled workers to West Asia, including the Gulf region.
At the time of the October 7 attack, there were an estimated 18,000 Indians working in Israel, of which only about 1,300 opted to return following the Israel-Hamas war.
In fact, the UP labour department has already prepared a database of nearly 16,000 skilled workers including masons, carpenters etc for the purpose.