Social workers help expatriate ‘tortured by employer’ fly home
A group of social workers successfully rescued an expatriate worker, who was allegedly held captive and subjected to forced labour by his employer. The victim, Nisanth, hails from Kollam District in the Indian state of Kerala. He said he was recruited by an agent to work with a private firm in the Kingdom for a monthly salary of BD120.
“Upon arrival in the Kingdom, I was offered a different job as a worker in a restaurant. I took it up as my financial circumstances back home were not great.” Nisanth said his ordeal began on the very first day he joined the restaurant. “The employer began harassing me from the first day of work.
“I would work non-stop, day and night, sometimes fifteen hours in one stretch as the hotel had only two staff.” The situation became worse as the employer refused to pay him wages. “I was not given wages and my health began deteriorating. I lost weight after working non-stop for longer hours.
“I would begin my work at 11 am and continued until 3 am or 4 am. My under feet was swollen and still my employer did not show any mercy,” Nisanth said. Respite only came after Nisanth managed to speak to social workers including K T Salim and Anwar Sooranad, who instantly rushed to help him along with some members of the media.
Pravasi Commission Member Subair Kannur also offered help to the victim. Though the employer was initially reluctant to release Nisanth’s passport, he yielded after being warned by social workers of legal consequences. Nisanth said it was nothing but a rebirth for him.
“I thought of committing suicide many a time but did not dare to do after thinking of my mother, wife and other family members.” Nisanth flew home yesterday. He was also handed over a ‘Gulf Kit’ by a group of social workers representing the organisation ‘Hope’ apart from the air ticket.