Vittorio Hernandez - AHN News Writer Manama, Bahrain (AHN) - Indians working illegally in Bahrain who could not afford a ticket back home will be given free rides by Indian Ambassador Balkrishna Shetty. However, not all requests for free tickets will be accommodated. The envoy will select the most deserving cases.

Monu Mathew, director of the Indian Institute for Performing Arts, which donated some of the tickets, said, "This does not mean that we want them to leave, but we are only trying to help them not get arrested or used."

A number of Middle Eastern nations had implemented amnesty programs for Asian migrant workings illegally employed in the region. While a large number have availed of the program, many foreign workers who came bearing visit visas only still do not possess proper documentation that would allow them to work legally in the region. The bulk of the migrant workers are from India, Indonesia and the Philippines employed as construction hands or domestic helpers.

According to the Bahrain Tribune, more than 81,000 Indians have been deported in 2007 for various visa and work offenses. Around 40,000 came from the United Arab Emirates, another 29,000 from Saudi Arabia and 8,000 from Kuwait.

But the deportees comprise less than 12 percent of the 676,000 Indians who migrated this year in droves to Gulf countries in search of higher paying jobs. Most of them were from the Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.