Even as a family mourns the death of the sole bread earning member, their grief is tinged with anger at the thought that the Saudi company he worked for kept the death under wraps citing “Ramzan holidays”.
On August 3, Irshad Ahmed (23), who worked as a driver in Saudi Arabia, died in an accident when he was transporting goods between Dammam and Arar. However, the family was notified only on August 12, said Yusuf Karandadi, Irshad’s uncle.
However, it was only on Monday, when the company opened after the Ramzan holidays, that the family was intimated. “The police and the hospital had notified the company. They should have had the decency to inform us, and not keep the information to themselves,” said Mr. Yusuf.
The family has written to the Indian embassy there, and expect the body to reach the village in a week’s time.
Irshad migrated to Saudi Arabia around two years ago, and after the Nitaqat – Saudi’s labour laws against immigration – were enforced, he shifted to the present company as a driver after paying a fee. Ironically, Irshad’s work visa had arrived a day after his death.
In all, Mr. Yusuf estimates that he had taken loans cumulatively amounting to Rs. 10 lakh, a burden that falls on his 65-year-old father, who is an amputee.
“The family lives in poverty. His father cannot work, his mother is also ailing, and his three younger brothers are still going to school and college. They were surviving on the money Irshad sent from Saudi. Things were looking up for them, and for Ramzan, Irshad had asked them to buy new clothes and promised to pay them after the salary had come…I don’t know what they will do now,” he said.