India, March 19 (UITV)-Khushpreet Singh,Who is a resident of Jalandhar is awaiting for the body of his father Jaswinder Singh Who died in Saudi Arabia One month ago i.e, on February 21.Jaswinder Singh was laid of from hid job at a construction company two years ago and was struggling to get dues and passport back from his employer to go home.
Ponnam Satyanarayana, who too has lost his job, died last week, bringing to the fore the struggle of hundreds of workers who lost their jobs in the kingdom.
“My father was without insurance as he was out of job and fighting to get his dues after working 23 years in the company. With his passport in the custody of his employer, he didn’t have any means to come back,” Khushpreet Singh said.
He told that his efforts to get in touch with authorities didn't get any result.
“Had my father got medical care for his dialysis he would have been alive. He was only 56,” said Singh.The iqama (residence permit) of both the dead workers had expired two years ago and as a result they were deprived of medical insurance facility.
An employee of the same company who hails from Punjab but doesn’t want to be named said “For us, it is the saving of a lifetime. How can we go back home without our dues? Almost all of us have our passports with our employers. What can we do.?"
The workers juggling to stand in line in Gulf
So far close to 5000 Indians have come back after retrenchments(the reduction of costs) in Gulf. As per Saudi rules, a no objection certificate is necessary for the retrenched worker to go home.
It is a difficult situation for the government, too. In August external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said the Indian workers, who have lost their jobs in Saudi Arabia, should to file their claims for unpaid dues with their employers and come back home soon and said the government will bear the cost of their return.
“When Saudi Government settles with the Companies which have closed down, your dues will also be paid,” Swaraj had said.
The Indian government had requested the Saudi authorities to give the unemployed Indian workers exit visas without NoC (No-Objection Certificate) from employers.
This is the present situation of Indian Workers in Gulf