Kolkata/Ranchi: The issue of 160 Indians being stuck in Azerbaijan is yet to be resolved and fresh news of at least 44 migrant workers from Jharkhand and Bengal seeking help from External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj come to fore from Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. The helpless workers have sent videos from both the places and appealed Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Sushma Swaraj to intervene immediately.
The thirty fives workers, whose passports have also been seized reached by Lead Master Engineering & Construction Company, Malaysia reached the Indian Embassy in Kuala Lampur on Monday. They posted a video in a WhatsApp group, meant for migrant workers, and appealed to its admin Sikander Ali to help them. Eleven of them are from Jharkhand and the rest from Bengal. One worker is seen saying in the video, “We had gone to Malaysia 10 months back to work. But, neither we getting the salary told to us, nor on time. The payment made is only half of the promised package. We have been given a letter of 1800 Ringgit salary, but we get only 900 or 1000 Ringgit.” One Ringgit is equivalent to INR 16.30.
“When we complained about the same to our supervisor, we were threatened and asked not to raise the issue. Our passports have also been seized,” another worker said in the video.
Speaking to eNewsroom from Kuala Lumpur, Bhim Mahto said, “Despite paying us only half our salary, this company is yet to clear our salary for almost two or three months. Please help us get back to India.”
A similar cry was heard, in the video which has now gone viral in Bengal, has Allaundin Dhabuk, a resident of Nadia district pleading to Mamata Banerjee to him and his friends back to India. In the video he along with his roommates is seen saying, “We are stuck here without food. On days that we do work we get two pieces of breads and four bottles of water. On days we don’t work we have to skip our meals. We are in a deplorable condition and are thereby requesting Mamata Banerjee to help us reach our country. We at times are dependent on the local mosques to help us with some food.” Their passports too have been seized by the employers in Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, in an earlier report, which was reported by eNewsroom too, that 160 Indian have been arrested in Azerbaijan, the West Bengal government and Sushma Swaraj have yet to respond to it.
Tanmoy Ghosh, Secretary of Bangla Sanskriti Manch, said, “We had tried contacting MEA Sushma Swaraj, but we haven’t received any response from her end.” He then added, “We had tried communicating the same with government officials of West Bengal including ministers and MPs, but none have expressed any interest in helping these people. However, we have collected the necessary documents and have sent it across to MEA, New Delhi so that the needful is done.”
It is not clear what steps are going on to solve the miserable condition of these hapless workers by the Indian government. It is high time government should act. What is our officials at the embassy level doing and what are the initiatives taken over the reports submitted to our government should be published.