Foreign relief personnel working in refugee camps along the India-Pakistan border are thinning out and being replaced by Indian workers, following Indian Government pressure for them to leave.
LV Hospital in field
MV Refugees in front of doctors table
MCV Child being examined
MCV Doctor examines woman
CU Doctors' assistant
CU Another mother & child
CU Woman examined
MCV Doctor checking small child (2 shots)
MV Nurses handing out medicine
GV Doctors distributing milk to refugees (3 shots)
Initials SGM/1734 SGM/1750
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Background: Foreign relief personnel working in refugee camps along the India-Pakistan border are thinning out and being replaced by Indian workers, following Indian Government pressure for them to leave.
The Indian Government was reported to have given some voluntary agencies two days' notice to withdraw their expatriate workers from the camps, and the Government had earlier discouraged agencies from sending foreign staff in.
Agencies have been aware for some time that there has been friction between Indian Government officials and a minority of foreign workers. Government sources said they had no means to look after the welfare and security of foreign nationals, and they were worried about recent violence in West Bengal camps.
A few exceptions have been made, as in the case one of one specially qualified worker in West Bengal, who has been granted permission for a longer stay.
SYNOPSIS: In the field hospitals at refugee camps along the Indian border with East Pakistan, foreign doctors and nurses are leaving and being replaced by qualified Indian staff. Here in West Bengal, where fresh refugees are still flooding in, eight foreign relief organisations have been operating. But all of their personnel were recently asked to withdraw, with the exception of one specially qualified member of a particular group. The Indian Government thanked the foreign workers for their efforts, but it says local officials have no means to look after the welfare of foreign nationals. Violence in the camps is also said to be a problem.
So now Indian doctors and nurses take over their responsibilities, working side by side with a decreasing number of foreign workers. The major agencies in anticipation of the decision and for financial reasons, have already replaced most of their foreign workers with others locally recruited, and do not expect the latest moves to jeopardise relief efforts. The British-based Oxfam has said at least 90 per cent of its workers are Indian or normally resident in India. Major agencies have been aware for some time that there has been friction between Indian Government officials and a minority of foreign relief workers.