‘Worse than hell’: Indian migrants remember Saudi nightmare


They left India for Saudi Arabia with large dreams, though have returned with usually harrowing tales after an oil cost unemployment threw a economy into turmoil, withdrawal thousands of bad migrant labourers stranded.

The workers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and a Philippines were left destitute, but adequate income to get home or even to buy food after losing their jobs.

This week around 40 workers from a bankrupt easterly Indian state of Bihar finally arrived home with stories of being “left to die” by their employer Saudi Oger, a once-mighty organisation led by Lebanon’s billionaire former primary apportion Saad Hariri.

The company, that during one time had some 50,000 workers on a payroll, was strike by a dump in income from a core construction business after Saudi Arabia behind or cancelled projects in a face of plummeting oil revenues.

“They sealed down a disaster (canteen) suddenly. For 3 days we did not have even H2O to drink. There was no energy either,” electrician Imam Hussain told AFP after alighting in New Delhi this week.

“I was even arrested given my marker papers were not renewed by my employer. The conditions there was worse than hell,” pronounced a 27-year-old, who was operative on a restoration of Saudi King Salman’s house in Riyadh.

Hussain was among millions of bad Asians operative in a Gulf states, where tellurian rights groups contend many humour exploitation and abuses with no channels for redress.

Under a kingdom’s kafala system, many unfamiliar workers are barred from relocating to a new pursuit but their boss’s agree before their contracts end, withdrawal many trapped.

It has been criticised by rights groups as a form of connected work or even slavery.

Hussain and his associate migrants had spent several days in Delhi as they waited to go home to Bihar, sleeping on mattresses on a building of a bill hotel’s garage and eating on a filthy, open terrace.

But their outrageous service during entrance home meant they hardly beheld a discomfort.

“We are usually so relieved to be behind home finally. All we wish is to see a family and start a lives afresh,” pronounced Santosh Singh, a low-wage construction jack-of-all-trades as he waited to house a sight to his internal village.

– ‘Dreams shattered’ –

Saudi Arabia is a lucky end for Indian labourers, with scarcely 3 million operative especially in a construction sector.

A 2014 news by Amnesty pronounced tighten to a thousand low-wage migrant labourers are supposing clearway to transport to Saudi Arabia each day.

Bihar, that has some of a misfortune rates for poverty, gauntness and life outlook in a country, has a top emigration rates, according to a supervision news in 2007.

Many leave to shun an exploitation-ridden farming economy in a deficiency of any internal craving or industry.

Migration offers an easy event to a mostly semi-literate workforce to acquire comparatively good salary abroad.

“In Siwan district where we live they used to make open announcements about abroad pursuit vacancies with a violence of a drum,” pronounced Zakir Hussain, who went to Riyadh in 2013 and was creation some Rs 30,000 per month ($450) before a problems began.

“I have 15 members in my family and it (going abroad) was my usually possibility during a improved life.

“But demeanour what happened. we have not been paid given December. All my dreams are shattered. we usually wish we will get behind my impost some day,” he said.

In August, a Indian unfamiliar method stepped in to repatriate thousands of Indian migrant workers who did not even have income to buy their tickets.

The Saudi supervision afterwards took action, providing food and medicine to Indians staying in camps while earnest to yield giveaway thoroughfare to all those who wanted to go behind to India.

Saudi Arabia has also pronounced it will hoop authorised claims of a Oger workers in an bid to get their income back.

Sheikh Dilsher, who worked for Oger for 18 years, is still incompetent to come to terms with a remarkable spin his life has taken.

“I slogged all my life for them,” he said, tears welling adult his eyes. “But what did we get in return?

“All my advantages that come to some 42,000 Saudi riyal (around $11,200) have been withheld.

“I have no income and no wish now.”

© 2016 AFP

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