Nearly 1,500 expats have handed in their contact details to LMRA as a result of road shows organised by the Coordination Committee of Indian Associations (CCIA).
The events are intended to create awareness of the Easy Exit scheme, but volunteers are also distributing the Labour Market Regulatory Authority’s ‘Foreign Workers Details Card’ to the expats attending the events. The card was created to encourage expats to submit their contact information to the LMRA.
The authority uses this information to contact the worker in the case that he or she is reported as a runaway or if any other issues crop up with regard to their work visa. The authority has repeatedly urged residents to log onto its web portal and update their information online.
However, as social workers and activists have pointed out, lower income workers often do not have access to the internet or may lack the necessary skills to update their details online. The new cards seek to present workers with an easier and quicker way of handing in their information.
They are being distributed by several organisations and missions and can be dropped off at collection boxes situated in selected locations, including Lulu Hypermarket in Riffa and Dana Mall. K. T. Salim, a member of CCIA told Bahrain Tribune yesterday that they distributed nearly 2,000 cards and close to 75 per cent of these were filled out and returned.
Waheed Al Belushi, Head of Public Relations at the LMRA, commended the efforts of the organisations and said that they have been instrumental in acquiring the contact numbers of expatriate workers. “They have been able to reach out to hundreds of people in a few visits.
They have to be given credit for doing a great service that will benefit a lot of people.” However, it appears that not all of those filling out the cards fully understand the reasons behind the campaign. When asked by the Tribune why they were filling out the card, a group of workers said that it was so they would be eligible for a raffle draw conducted by the LMRA.
They stated that the prize is a BD20 voucher redeemable at the Bahrain Duty Free. The authority is indeed conducting a raffle draw for a BDF voucher, however this is only application for those taking advantage of the Easy Exit scheme and not those filling out the contact cards.