Lack of awareness about migration rules the main reason for workers’ woes. The speakers focussed on West Asia that currently hosts a large number of migrant workers, with an estimated 12.8 million people struggling to make a living in the Gulf alone.

Young sisters Durga Bhavani (13) and Ragi (10) are in tears, for they have not seen their mother P. Lakshmi (27) for about six years now because she is in a Muscat jail, trapped in a murder case.

She was allegedly framed in a murder case because she was witness to her landlady’s illicit relationship and also to the murder of the landlady’s toddler by the man.

In a similar plight is Masireddy, the father of Sreekanth Reddy, now languishing in a prison in Saudi Arabia for five years.

Likewise, T. Ramu (45), who holds a work permit valid for two years, is being allegedly beaten up and tortured by his employer in the Gulf. His wife, Nagamani, is worried because he has been incommunicado for the past few days. These are just some tales of woes, suffered by migrants from Andhra Pradesh who went to the Gulf in the hope of earning some money. They narrated their stories to the media at a workshop organised by the Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA) and Domestic Workers Movement, AP (DWM) to sensitise representatives of the Fourth Estate here on Saturday.

Sister Lissy Joseph, DWM-AP State coordinator, Rafeeq, MFA’s India coordinator T. Balagangadhara Rao, Right to Information Act activist and others underscored the need for a massive awareness campaign to be taken up in order to educate people seeking employment abroad. Mr. Refeeq regretted that the number of migrant workers missing thus far was 900 and the number kept growing.

The speakers focussed on West Asia that currently hosts a large number of migrant workers, with an estimated 12.8 million people struggling to make a living in the Gulf alone. They said the awareness and education campaign apart, what was also required, was to motivate activists and the media, to leverage the benefits of the RTI that could be used to get information from any Indian embassy abroad, for information about missing persons.

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