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Invisible People: The Lives of Asian Workers in the Gulf

This book project will be a work of narrative nonfiction on the lives of Indian workers in the Persian Gulf. It will examine the factors behind Indian migration to the region and its multi-layered impact on individuals, families, communities and societies. Some of the basic questions that this work will explore include: Why do indigent Indian workers undertake enormous risks, flout laws, and often bend regulations, in order to work in very risky conditions elsewhere? How has Indian government policy towards Middle East migration tried to address the issue of human rights abuses in countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)? How have Indian communities in the GCC responded to the issue of rights abuses? What is the level of migrant education and training imparted to low-skilled workers before they leave India to these countries? In the postrecession economies of the GCC, what fallout have policies of local employment (like Omanization in Oman or nitaqat in Saudi Arabia) had on the Indian migrant workforce in those countries? The objective of this project is to get a multitude of voices that mark this phenomenon. The book is to be published by HarperCollins, India and The New Press, New York in 2017.