After two months of agony and uncertainty, two Indian workers left for their homes in India, thanks to the timely efforts by the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA). The LMRA helped Dipu Dev and Mustafa Mohammed secure their ‘eligible’ air tickets from the sponsor. The workers flew back to India (Trivandrum) last night.
Workers at a garage in Bahrain, the duo had no money for food or a place to sleep and had to visit the Indian Embassy many a times to get assistance in getting back their passports from the sponsor.
DT had earlier reported that Mustafa’s visa was renewed against his will while Dipu’s visa was not renewed and he was illegal in the country. The men had said that they did not want to work “as the employer was highly abusive and rigid.”
DT had highlighted the plight of the workers to LMRA, subsequent to which its top official directed his office to hasten the process of procuring tickets for them.
“We were made to wait at the embassy gate for almost four hours, while the labour official attended to many other cases, personal phone calls and her regular tea break,” said one of the men. He could not get to GDNPR that day as the letter was given very late.
Embassy finally informed the men that they had ‘failed in tracing the sponsor’ and left Mustafa to find his way back home, while it issued a letter to GDNPR for Dipu’s exit.
“We were shattered at the way our embassy officials treated us, but the local officials at GDNPR and LMRA were ‘kind and understanding’,” said Dipu.
DT had raised the concern to Embassy’s First Secretary Nirmal Kumar Chawdhary who assured that his door was open to any Indian in the country. Mr Chawdhary instructed his office to contact Mustafa regarding the ticket.
Meanwhile, LMRA has stepped in and resolved the issue of tickets for both the men.
Responding to the situation, LMRA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ausamah Al Absi said the authority’s scope does not cover settlement of ‘labour disputes’.
He observed that upon intimation of the case, LMRA had contacted the sponsor regarding the cancellation of the permits and cost of the tickets – ‘both of which he complied with, within 24 hours’.
Earlier, in an Open House, Ambassador Dr Mohan Kumar had instructed his office to do a ‘fast track’ operation of the legalities regarding this case in the court. He also referred the men to embassy’s lawyer Maha Jaber, however, the office failed to carry on the instructions.
The men said that the officials refused to even entertain their calls and only kept referring them to the lawyer – who kept postponing the matter and finally told them not to get back until they were called.
Apparently the sponsor who met the men at GDNPR was angry at them and threatened to ‘blacklist’ them and refused to pay their pending one month’s salary.