Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured Indian workers in the Gulf countries all help from the Indian government while advising them to keep working hard though also taking care of their health. “Maybe none of you know me. But you must be feeling good that somebody has come from India to meet you,” said a smiling Modi as he addressed a gathering of workers dressed in bright yellow uniforms at a free medical camp organised by the Indian Community Benevolent Fund (ICBF) and the Indian Doctors Community (IDC) in this Gulf nation.
“My first programme here in Doha is meeting you,” he said. Modi said that he looked into the things and changes the workers wished for as they worked here.
“I will work to my best extent to help you,” he said.
Modi also said that India was looking at a good monsoon this year.
“I have good news for you. This year the monsoon will be good in India,” he said.
The prime minister also voiced concern over the health of the Indian blue collar workers in the region.
“I was inquiring about major health problems of workers; proper counselling, diabetes are major challenges,” he said.
Following his address, Modi, dressed in a white pyjama kurta and his trademark half jacket in grey, walked around the venue speaking to the workers.
As one worker stood up to offer his seat, the Prime Minister patted him on his shoulder, sat down beside him and opened a food basket.
In April this year too, Modi had broken bread with Indian blue collar workers in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh.
Modi’s visit – in the second leg of his five nation tour after Afghanistan – is the first to Qatar by an Indian Prime Minister since Manmohan Singh in 2008.
Of the around 630,000 expatriate Indians in Qatar, many are blue collar workers.
Modi will be hosted for dinner by Qatari Prime Minister Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al Thani on Saturday evening.
On Sunday, he will begin his engagements in Qatar with a meeting with business leaders following which he will hold a restricted meeting with Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani.
After Qatar, Modi will go to Switzerland, the US and Mexico.