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KT Impact: Eight Indian workers stranded in UAE for months flown home

Dubai - Social workers and the Indian mission provided them food and shelter until they were repatriated.

By Saman Haziq

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Published: Mon 5 Jul 2021, 1:43 PM

Last updated: Mon 5 Jul 2021, 2:11 PM

Eight Indian workers who had been stranded in the UAE for several months have been repatriated with the help of the consulate and community volunteers.

On June 16, Khaleej Times reported the plight of the workers who were spotted on a street in Sharjah, seeking food, shelter and assistance. They were allegedly duped by an agent whom they each paid Dh5,000 after promising them jobs in the UAE. However, when they arrived in the country in March, they were left to fend for themselves, unable to look for new jobs or even return to India because their passports were not with them.

Upon learning about the workers’ situation, the Indian Consulate in Dubai swung into action and reached out to community volunteers and social workers.

Social worker Shirali Shaikh Muzaffer from AIM India Forum — a platform that supports stranded Indian nationals — along with SM Afzal and Sarfaraz Jukaku from the Bhatkal community, helped the workers obtain their white passports (outpass). They reported the issue to the police and arranged the necessary travel papers, like immigration clearance and PCR tests.

Two other social workers, Hidayath Addoor and Kiran, arranged for their food and shelter for around two months. The consulate covered all costs and provided free air tickets.

The mission has issued the tickets on July 2, allowing the workers to fly to New Delhi,from where they will be transported to their villages. As they boarded their flight, they expressed their gratitude to the consulate and the social workers, who also saw them off at the airport.

The Indian consulate has urged the public to be wary of fake job alerts and unscrupulous recruitment agents. Those who receive job offers can verify them through the Pravasi Bharatiya Sahayata Kendra (PBSK) app, which is powered by the mission, or by sending an e-mail to the consulate.

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