2,000 Stranded Indian Workers Wait for Dues to be Cleared in Kuwait
The workers say they have not received wages from the construction company, Kharafi National, where they have been working for over a year.
About 2,000 Indian workers are stranded in Kuwait as they have not received wages from the construction company, Kharafi National, where they have been working for over a year.
The misery of the workers seems to only rise with each day, as they are without food and amenities to shield them in winter, the Times of India reported. Their visas have also expired, making their stay illegal as they wait for the company to settle the issue.
“I can only think of suicide. I haven’t been paid for the last 10 months and my stay here has become illegal. I have a lot of debts to repay in India,” Naresh Naidu, a worker, said, TOI reported.
The workers said that the company informed them it was not in a position to pay salaries as it doesn’t have projects to execute.
The workers hail from different parts of India, such as Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
As many as 45 workers are demonstrating in front of the office, carrying placards. They are asking for their dues to be cleared and that they be sent back to India. The company has put them up in a camp, which is 60 km away from office.
“We do not have money to travel daily to the office to plead our case. The only thing we can do is sit here, sleep here and wait till our plea is considered. But no one seems to be bothered,” the report quoted 42-year-old Irfan Ahmed as saying.
The company has also kept the workers’ passports. They cannot leave Kuwait even if they decide to forego their dues and return to India.
Since their visas have expired, they also have to pay a fine for overstaying. “If I have to return home, I will have to pay Rs 75,000 as fine. Where will I get it from? And if police arrest me for overstaying, I won’t ever be able to return to Kuwait for work,” another worker said.
The condition of the workers has moved Shayeen Sayeed, a social worker in Kuwait, who has been trying to provide food to them. “We requested a local gurudwara and they have come forward to assist us. There are many workers who have become suicidal and need help. I’ve been counselling them against taking any extreme step,” Sayeed said, the report added.
Many sympathizers have taken to the social media to lend a voice to the issue, posting videos of the stranded protesting workers and also trying alert the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.
11th Night KN head office
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