Workers from State narrate tales of hardships in the Gulf
HYDERABAD: A young housewife, Durgam Swapna, from Pathaguduru of Velkatur mandal in Karimnagar district struggles to take care care of her nine-year-old daughter Swetha Vaishnavi and 11-year-old son Sraavan Kumar without her husband. Bheemesh, and two other Bangladeshi nationals were shot down by military personnel, who mistook them to be infiltrators, as they were crossing the desert between Muscat and Dubai in the Gulf sometime last year.
After five years of slogging as a labourer in Muscat, he wanted to head home. But as he could not afford the exit fee for irregular migrants, he decided to leave via Dubai where it was relatively easier. In a strange twist of fate, Bheemesh was shot down and the body was brought back home.
An estimated 20 lakh people from A.P. — most of them from Telangana — are trying to eke out a livelihood as labourers in the Gulf region in harsh conditions. Of these, about 400 people return home in coffins due to various reasons.
Cause of deaths
The cause of death varies from heart attacks and suicides, inability to withstand the stressful working and living conditions, apart from losing lives in road accidents and onsite mishaps, said M. Bheem Reddy, vice-president of the Migrants Rights Council (MRC), which has been striving to make the life of migrants easier with support from Central and State governments as well as philanthropists in A.P. and abroad. He was speaking at a meeting organised here on Wednesday at a pre-migration information programme for Gulf migrants.
The MRC has been demanding that the AP government provide an ex-gratia of Rs.2 lakh and support poor immigrants be rehabilitated.