Ordeal finally over

Bonny Mascarenhas

The plight of ten Indian workers who were mistreated by their employer is finally over after their sponsor handed over their passports yesterday and tickets home.Their salaries, which allegedly have not been paid in over four months, have not yet been settled, however the workers have signed over power of attorney to an advocate to ensure they receive their dues at a later date Nirmal Kumar Chawdhary,second secretary at the embassy, explained that the sponsor had handed over 10 passports, one of which had expired.

“We will have to discuss with the employer payment of the visa cancellation fees,” he said. “The embassy will not pay it.” Visa cancellation fees amount to BD15 for each worker. The men yesterday submitted their fingerprints,digital signature and photographs to the Labour Market Regulatory Authority as part of the repatriation process.

Six of the men are scheduled to leave on September 18 and the rest will return home on September 25. The Migrant Workers Protection Society (MWPS) will continue to provide meals to the labourers till then, Mehru Vesuvala from the society, stated. The MWPS yesterday provided bags of rice, lentils and other essentials to the men, following a report of their ordeal carried by the Tribune on Thursday.

The men lived without electricity and water for nearly two months after their employer cut off power to their labour camp.

As they had not been paid their salaries, they had to purchase food items on credit and racked up a bill of nearly BD 1,200.