BANKE, June 23: As many as 44 Nepali workers, including four from Banke, have been stranded in Saudi Arabia. These workers had gone to Saudi Arabia to work in a company, three months ago, from Al Harman HR Company in Sinamangal, Kathmandu. However, after they reached there, they found that there was no such company. They have been stranded there since then.
Sami Raza Rai and Almin Teli of Janaki Rural Municipality-1, Altab Ali of Janaki-3 and Ramniwas Pasi of Nepalgunj-21 including 40 others from different districts are currently stranded at Tamimi Camp in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. According to Almin Teli, even after three months of arriving in Saudi Arabia, they have not been able to find any work.
It has been found that Ram Samaj Pasi of Janaki-3 and Sarif Behna of Duduwa Rural Municipality-2 took Rs 170,000 each from four of them. After taking the amount, it is seen that they have completed the rest of the process from Al Harman HR Company. In the labor agreement signed by Almin Teli in April 2021, it is mentioned that he will work in HBAI Najo Company. However, the work to be done is not clearly mentioned in the agreement.
Similarly, Teli says that Pasi and Behna, who had taken the money, told them that they would work in a biscuit factory. However, upon arrival in Saudi Arabia, it was revealed that there was no such company where they were supposed to work. The workers had to beg for food on the streets due to the lack of work. They were taken out of the airport and kept outside for 10 days. Later, after making frequent complaints to the manpower company, they were provided four rooms for the accommodation of 44 people with no food or water.
Later they were sent to Jubail from Riyadh. When they arrived in Jubail, they found out that there was no such company that they had come to work for. Not only that, they were left on the streets again without any food. They spent a few days feeding themselves on donations received during Ramadan. “We spent the night under a nearby tree,” said Teli. Saudi also helped them to find the company but when the company was not found, they were released back to the road.
The workers were provided a few rooms by the staff of the Nepali embassy in Saudi Arabia, two days later. As many as 44 workers are living in six rooms. When asked about the arrangements to return to Nepal, the staff threatened them stating that they were here to work or return home, according to Teli. "We haven't had any food yet and we are spending our days waiting for a job," he said.
Meanwhile, some workers’ families lodged a complaint at the District Administration Office (DAO) and Labor Office against those who extorted money from them. The DAO mediated an agreement between the two parties to provide work to the stranded workers within 15 days and if they are not employed by then, they will be repatriated.