BBC Hindi launches Iraq helpline for Indian expats

MUMBAI: The BBC has come up with a helpline to assist Indian families worried about the well being of their relatives working in the region.

The BBC radio Hindi service has launched a helpline for the 3.5 million-strong Indian expatriate community living in the Gulf countries. The Iraq helpline is broadcast daily and enables the Indians living in the Gulf to broadcast news of their welfare to relatives and friends around the world through the evening programme, Aajkal, from 7:30-8:30 pm or through the website

An official release informs that the Iraq helpline is posting emails from Indian expats to their relatives. These are also read out on Aajkal. The Iraq Helpline team also takes phone calls from people in the Gulf who are trying to get through to their relatives and friends in South Asia.

In addition, the Iraq helpline offers information about help centres, other helplines, flights, useful telephone numbers and other relevant material the release states. Head of BBC Hindi, Achala Sharma, says: "The idea of the helpline is to enable these people to contact their loved ones in South Asia. The people who turn to this programme are, for the most part, those who do not have the resources, which Indian ex-pats in the United States or Europe may have."

BBC World Service broadcasts programmes around the world in 43 languages and is available on radio and online at It has a global audience of 150 million listeners, the release says.

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