Confinement and denial of rights are a longstanding problem for millions of migrant workers employed in Saudi Arabia. The country has been a popular destination for skilled and unskilled workers soon after oil was discovered in the late 1930s. But poor working conditions, including isolation and brutality, has changed the mindset of Indians, despite the monetary benefits.
An Indian truck driver from Karnataka has appealed for help, accusing his Saudi employer of violating his rights.
In the video shared by the social activist and entrepreneur Kundan Srivastava, one Abdul Sattar Makandar who works for AL Suroor United Group, tearfully says that his employers were not letting him go home.
"I have been in Saudi Arabia for the last 23 months, and have applied for a leave to come home over five months ago. But my employer is not letting me go home... My employer doesn't give me proper salary, neither does he give me money for food," says Makandar with tears freely flowing from his eyes.
Srivastava, founder of Be In Humanity Foundation, shared the video on his Facebook wall. He has tagged Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs, and requested her for help.
Swaraj had taken up the matter with the Saudi Foreign Office and asked for strict action when a Saudi sponsor chopped off an Indian maid's hand in October 2015.
In 2014, Saudi Arabia signed a new agreement with India, promising a standard contract that includes a minimum wage and weekly off. But Vani Saraswathi, an associate editor and strategic adviser at Migrant-Rights.org, said the contract does not address other key human rights issues including mobility, minimum work hours and private access to communication.
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