Tuesday 22 January 2019

2,000 Indian construction workers stranded in Kuwait

KUWAIT, January 3, 2018

At least 2,000 construction workers from India have been stranded in Kuwait for months with their visas expired and no money to return home as their employer, Kharafi National, a leading construction company in Kuwait, has not yet paid them salaries for nearly a year, said a report.

These include engineers, supervisors, drivers, plant operators, janitors, warehouse staff, steel fitters and construction workers, reported Times of India.

With their visas already expired and no money for food, these workers - who are mostly from the states of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh - are living in dire conditions, stated the report.
And adding to their misery, these workers cannot even go to a hospital, as they are illegal residents, stated the report, citing the workers.

"With no food to eat or even a blanket to cover themselves with, we are suffering in Kuwait. In despair, many are even contemplating suicide," a worker was quoted as saying in the report.

Around 45 of them have been protesting at the office of the construction company, Kharafi National, demanding their salaries so they can return to India, The Times of India reported.

“We do not have money to travel back to our camp, which is 60 km away, every day,” 42-year-old Irfan Ahmed told the paper. “The only thing we can do is sit here, sleep here and wait till our plea is considered,” he added.

Most of the workers said forgoing their dues and leaving Kuwait was not an option as the company had their passports, said the report.

The Indian Embassy in Kuwait said it has made a list of the stranded 3,242 workers and handed it over to Kuwaiti authorities.

Tags: India | Kuwait | construction workers |

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