Hundreds of Indian workers in the 2022 World Cup sites are suffering an ordeal in Qatar as they have for six months faced denial of salaries, job losses, the expiry of visas and substandard living conditions in labor camps, according to workers and official communications.
Hindustan Times said that their number is over 600. It quoted an Indian official as confirming that hundreds, among those affected, say there has been no word on their compensation after having worked for eight to 10 years.
“We are now left to the mercy of people who help us on a charitable basis for food. We do not even have electricity in the daytime, but just about manage to get generators running in the night,’’said S Kumar, who is from Kerala and worked for the firm for eight years.
He said he had not been paid for last six months.
A plumber, who worked for the company for nine years, said they have no option but to wait. “I cannot even go to a hospital for the fear of getting caught as my visa has been expired,” he said on condition of anonymity.
“I had to borrow money to arrange for my flight back home. I feel hopeless. I pawned my property to come here two years ago. This is what life has given me here,’’ said another worker.
The newspaper added that the Indian embassy in Qatar took up the matter with the company without any response after 25 workers wrote to the mission on April 10 complaining that they had not been paid for months.
The Indian mission is working with Bangladesh, Nepal and the Philippines to press for relief for the workers. An official said Qatar recently announced Support Fund to clear dues of workers of distressed companies. However, and it is yet to become operational, according to the newspaper.
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