More Keralites work abroad than ever and the money that they send home is a vital part of the state’s economy. The Times recently published a detailed piece on Kerala and the effect these remittances have on the state’s economy. It was a little surprising that the article did not mention the many Keralites (and other Indians) who take jobs as contractors in Iraq in order to support their families.
When they think of contractors at all, Americans tend to imagine highly skilled workers employed by large corporations. The fact is that most Indians in Iraq work as food service providers and cleaners. Reuters recently ran an incredibly sad piece on Constantine Rodriguez, a Pizza Hut worker in Taji who recently lost an eye and a leg in an insurgent attack. The AP did a similar story in April about an ice cream man working at the base in Ramadi.