Pravasi Lives Matter.

South Asian Migration to the GCC since the 1940’s and even earlier have provided livelihoods for millions of people who did not have an opportunity of a college education, starting with Bahrain and Kuwait with the oil boom. I am not including the centuries of trade from the Banias.

The educated lot migrated to the West, but these men and women who helped/help grow the Gulf also helped their families and communities grow. There are counter narratives of social issues in Kerala due to migration, but Kerala always traded with the outside world, unlike the North, wrapped in a history of strife and partition.

I have met hundreds of men and women over the years who have built lives back home out of nothing. A friend of mine from who is illiterate started supporting his family at age 9 in Lucknow, came to Muscat as a cook in a coffee shop at Darsait, retrained himself as a driver who runs his independent gig. Stuff of a movie script.

Technicians, Laundry walas, Barbers, small coffee shop cooks and servers who fill lives of other migrants of the more affluent varieties, support families with their meagre remittance.

These lives matter. Pravasi Samman, worthy of every award.