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Nepali mission initiates rescue of workers

  • Stranded in Kuwait
- CHANDAN KUMAR MANDAL, Kathmandu
Around 150 Nepali migrant workers are stranded in the Gulf state for months now without jobs and many without valid stay permits

Dec 5, 2017-The Nepali migrant workers, who have been stranded in Kuwait without jobs and many without valid stay permits for months now, finally have some semblance of respite with the government initiating the process to bring them home.

On November 28, the Post had reported about the sorry condition of around 150 Nepalis languishing in the Gulf state for the last few months. Following the report, the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) coordinated with the Nepal Embassy in Kuwait to look into the matter and rescue the stranded citizens.

On Sunday, a delegation representing the stranded workers, previously employed by Kharafi National, a leading construction company, visited the Nepali embassy to discuss their situation.

After meeting with the embassy team, led by Second Secretary Gyan Bahadur Magar, the workers said that they were positive their plight would end soon.

The embassy has also talked with the recruiting agency, SOS Manpower Private Limited, and that the latter has agreed to pay 100 Kuwaiti dinar each to the stranded workers. 

“We are pleased by the efforts launched by the embassy to rescue us,” said Suresh Kunwar, one of the workers present in Sunday’s meeting.

He has been out of job for nearly four months now.

Several Nepali workers after they were laid off by Kharafi National had left returned home after their families paid for their air tickets. But there are still many Nepalis who remain in Kuwait.  

Currently, Sulaibiya camp and Saiyaba camp together have 88 stranded Nepalis. Eighty-one of them were the clients of SOS Manpower while the remaining seven had reached Kuwait through Lotus Human Resources Pvt Ltd and Gulf Manpower Services Pvt Ltd. 

In case of the workers associated with Lotus Human Resources and Gulf Manpower, the embassy has decided to arrange for their return home.

The embassy plans to start sending home the stranded workers, who still have valid visa and are willing to sacrifice their outstanding pays, within a week. Others are expected to be returned in groups later.

Santosh Bhujel, one of the workers whose visa expires on December 13, cannot wait to return home, though the company owes him nine months’ worth of pay.

“I don’t want to stay any longer. I want to go back to my family. There is no guarantee that the company will be renewing my visa once it expires. So it’s better to head back home in time,” he said Bhujel.

In Sunday’s meeting, the embassy officials also assured the workers of taking steps to make their employer pay up the due salaries.

“The embassy has said that it will hire a lawyer if needed to make the company pay,” said Kunwar.

Dil Bahadur Magar, who worked for Kharafi National for more than five years, is doubtful they will be recompensed anytime soon.

“The embassy has assured to take care of the situation. Let’s see how long it will take. I want to go back to Nepal,” said Magar, who worked for seven months without getting paid.

Published: 05-12-2017 08:42

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