As per the latest statistics (18 February 2015) received by us from the Kuwaiti authorities, the number of Indian nationals legally residing in Kuwait has crossed the 8 lakh mark. In addition, there are estimated 25,000 Indian nationals who have overstayed their visas and, therefore, are staying illegally in the country. Some highlights from the latest figures are:-
1. The Indian community in Kuwait continues to grow at 5-6% per annum. Our community remains the most preferred community in Kuwait, the second biggest expatriate community being the Egyptians.
2. The gender ratio of Indians in Kuwait is highly skewed as they are about 6 lakh Indian males as against only 2 lakh Indian females in the country.
3. Out of 8 lakh Indians, 2.8 lakh are domestic workers (i.e. drivers, gardeners, cleaners, ayahs, cooks and housemaids). There are about 1.9 lakh male domestic workers plus about 0.9 lakh female domestic workers. They are not allowed to bring their spouses/children into the country. With the implementation of USD 2,500 bank guarantee since September 2014 for the housemaids, there may be little or no growth in the number of Indian housemaids to Kuwait.
4. The majority of Indians are deployed in private sectors (i.e. construction workers, technicians, engineers, doctors, chartered accountants, IT experts, etc.). In addition, there are about 1 lakh dependants i.e. spouses/children. Out of these, there are about 42,000 Indian students studying in 20 Indian schools in the country. There is no university-level educational facility for Indian students in Kuwait. There was 8% growth last year in Indians engaged in private sector in Kuwait. With Indian companies being awarded civil construction jobs of over USD 4 billion in 2014, we may see a surge in Indian nationals working in private sectors in the next 2-3 years.
5. There are about 24,000 Indians working for the Kuwaiti Government in various jobs like nurses, engineers in National Oil Companies and a few scientists. The demand for Indian nurses remains strong as ever in Kuwait.
6. The Kuwaiti authorities are hinting that Indian community may reach one million mark is not too distant a future.