Kolkata: The 21 goldsmiths from West Bengal who had been left stranded in Jeddah have a reason to smile. The officials from the Indian Embassy, Jeddah have sprung into act on to facilitate the smooth exit of the workers from Saudi Arabia to their country – India.
A video released by one of the key petitioners to National Anti-Trafficking Committee’s Kolkata Chapter, Nazrul Islam, can be heard saying, “Indian Embassy officials from Jeddah have contacted us, asking details of all the 21 migrant workers from West Bengal. We have been told that if we can produce the details of all the stranded workers along with our passport number and a ‘No Objection Certificate’ then they will help us get back home. It is a big relief for us.”
eNewsroom had reported the plight of 21 goldsmiths from West Bengal, who were left stranded in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The migrant workers had been sent to Jeddah by their agent on a tourist visa. On reaching the airport the officials of Musalli Gold confiscated their passport and visa, thereby, leaving them at the mercy of the company. Initially the workers got their salary on time, however, for the past three months, the workers have not received their salary, leaving them helpless. The deplorable condition that they were being forced to live in made one of them contact NATC.
A migrant worker speaks after being contacted by MEA officials:
In an earlier SOS video, one of the migrant workers from Howrah were seen pleading in Bengali how they are forced to live in inhuman condition, “We are goldsmiths from West Bengal, and we are stuck here in Saudi Arabia for the past two years. We have been pleading to our employer to send us back to our country. We work for Saudi Arab’s Musalli Gold Factory. Our company is not responding to our plea. They are telling us to do what we can. We have been told that we can go back to our country on our own. But with no passport, how can we? Also, for three months we haven’t been paid. We don’t have food to eat and water to drink.”
Migrant workers had also pleaded, “We need to be back, as some of our parents are unwell, while some of our parents are on the verge of dying. We need to go back.”
“One of the stranded goldsmith, Nazrul Isalm from Hoogly district had contacted me. Following which we have been in constant touch with the Ministry of External Affairs, Indian Embassy Jeddah and our counterparts in Saudi Arabia. We have produced all the necessary documents before the ministry to have Emergency Passports issued for these workers so that they can be immediately sent back home,” informed Sheik Jinnar, Chairperson, NATC.
According to Jinnar, all the 21 migrant workers would be reaching India by Tuesday, November 5.