UAE-based Indian Community helps abandoned workers to fly India

Vastavam web: Seventeen workers who had been stranded in Dubai without salaries will finally be flying home, thanks to the efforts of community group Odisha Samaj UAE and the Indian consulate. Speaking to Media about the workers’ plight, Amiya Kumar Mishra, president of Odisha Samaj UAE, said: “We were informed about the workers’ conditions a month ago, when they ran out of food supplies after living without salaries for the last three months. We escalated the matter to the Indian consulate, which took charge of the situation and provided the workers with supplies.”

“Since the workers had not received their salaries, they couldn’t pay their room rent. The landlord switched off their electricity and water supplies and asked them to vacate the room after allowing them to stay there for around a month without rent. The workers then spent a day under the tree with their luggage, before a team from Odiya Samaj and the Indian consulate rescued them and found them another accommodation.”

Neeraj Agarwal, Consul for Press, information, and culture at the Consulate-General of India in Dubai, told Khaleej Times: “Out of the 17 workers, 16 are from Odisha and one is from Uttar Pradesh. As soon as we learnt that they were left without salaries, we started supplying them with rations regularly. But around 20 days ago, we learnt that they had been evicted from their rooms, so we made arrangements for their lodging in Satwa.

One of the affected workers, 26-year-old Ranjit Kumar Swain, lamented how their employer left them in the lurch. “When we demanded the company to return our passports, we were told that our company owner is absconding. He sent us a message that we need to submit around Dh3,000 each to get our passports back,” Ranjit said. “From June onwards, we were not give our monthly salary – Dh1,430 per month – which is why we were not even able to afford three meals a day. How would we give the owner Dh3,000? The company owner, who we hear has fled to India, refused to release our passports and we had no means of returning to our country.”