JANAKPUR, July 15: Outbound migrant workers are yet to benefit from the free visa, free ticket system introduced by the government as authorities have failed to take action against manpower agencies that force them to pay travel as well as visa processing fees.
In one such case, Jagir Alam of Janakpur and Sanjaya Das of Paudeshwar in Dhanusha district had submitted their passports to a manpower agency based in Janakpur. The manpower agency had agreed to send them under free-visa-free-ticket scheme. Just a few days before their flight, however, the agency asked them to pay Rs 60,000 each, threatening them with withdrawal of their visa.
Das and Alam then filed a complaint at Migration Workers' Rights Protection Center, which held a discussion with the manpower company on the issue. After the discussion, the company agreed not to charge the extra fees and continued the visa procedures charging only Rs 20,000 as service fee.
There have been many such incidents in the district.
“Although remittance from foreign employment has increased in the district, migrant works are being cheated during the process or even after landing in the destination country,” said Bikash Yadav, the center's chairman.“The government has started to scrap license of manpower companies involved in such activities. However, lack of awareness among aspirant migrant workers has made the task difficult,” he added.