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Newspaper article

Indian migrant workers return home with horror tales from UAE



Newspaper title

The Times of India


The Times of India

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A group of 10 migrants returned to Andhra Pradesh from the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday, availing the amnesty declared by the government. This batch is the latest among several such groups of migrants returning home over the past few weeks with financial help from NRI donors in UAE and USA, and members of NRI associations in India.

Narrating their harrowing experiences in the Gulf nation, the returnees said many were ill-treated by their employers and cheated when it came to matters of compensation. "I went from place to place looking for work but was exploited nearly everywhere," said R N Veeranna, who spent six years in Dubai engaged in manual labour. "One employer paid me only one month's salary after I worked for six months. I did not have a place to stay and slept under a car several times," he added.

In another case, 40-year-old P Kumari, hailing from West Godavari, who worked there as a housemaid, said for five years she lived in a single room apartment with six other women in deplorable conditions, with hardly any place to sleep and in unhygienic surroundings.

Officials of the Migrant Rights Council (MRC), AP said they were expecting nearly 18,000 workers belonging to the state to avail the benefits of amnesty which allows irregular workers to forego mandatory imprisonment and penalty and return to their homeland. But only around 1800 of them reportedly applied for amnesty, of which 50% could not afford the flight tickets.

MRC officials have repeatedly petitioned the state government to provide financial assistance to the migrants languishing there but to no avail. On January 30, the AP high court directed the Centre to request the UAE government for a three month extension in amnesty period. No response has been received on this matter so far, said MRC officials who are now requesting the state government to take necessary steps for proper reintegration of the returnees, offer them employment opportunities and provide financial support to their families.

Papa Juttika from Rajahmundry, another returnee who worked as a housemaid said she had to forego food and even water for many days as her employers did not offer her any refreshment. "For the first four months, I could not find any job and my health kept deteriorating due to rising stress. Finally I started working as a housemaid in nearly 5 houses daily and on many days, I would not even get water to drink throughout the day," she said.

These returnees, all of whom were cheated by agents and sent abroad with the promise of a high-paying job, were given financial help by members of NRI wing of a local political party.



India, Migrant workers returnees

Economic sectors

Occupations in services - Domestic work, Home child care providers, and Home support workers, housekeepers and related occupations

Content types

Documented cases of abuse

Target groups

Policymakers and Public awareness

Geographical focuses


Spheres of activity

Social work