Cases of Indian workers being mistreated by employers in Saudi Arabia are well-documented. Now, even bringing the bodies of dead Indian workers back from Saudi Arabia is turning out to be an uphill task, a recent news reported highlighted.
Around 150 bodies of dead Indians are in mortuaries of Saudi Arabia, with most of them being of workers who went to the Gulf monarchy from the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
‘Red-tapism’ surrounding transporting of coffins back has been given as a possible reason for the bereaved families not able to see their loved ones for the last time.
Illness, accidents, murders and suicides are to be blamed for their death in the first place, media reports say.
India’s embassy in Riyadh hasn’t been able to make much headway in getting the bodies back home, even after the involvement of Ministry of External Affairs in the matter.
The oil-rich Sunni monarchy is governed by strict Islamic laws, and foreign workers have very little say in deciding the terms of their employment contracts. In some cases in the past, employers have confiscated their employees’ passport, who are many times forced to work long hours in inhuman conditions. Changing jobs without serving the full-length of the contract is criminal in many cases.
According to an estimate, around 10 lakh people from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana alone work in Saudi Arabia.