Nepali workers in Saudi Arabia not allowed to return home
(२०७३ फाल्गुन १६, सोमवार)
Kalicharan Shah of Saptari had left for Saudi Arabia five years ago with a two-year labour permit. But he is yet to return despite several attempts to come back to his family.
Shah could not return because he did not receive the mandatory permit from his employer company. The law of Saudi Arabia requires a worker to receive an exit VISA from his/her employer to return home, even after the end of the contract or labour permit.
"Three years have passed since my company started saying that 'you will be sent home soon', but I am yet to receive the permit", Shah told RSS over the phone from Saudia Arabia.
He has his elderly mother, wife, three sons and one daughter, waiting for him to return home in Saptari.
Shah had landed in Saudia Arabia after paying Rs. 90,000 to the worldwide employment consultancy in Tripureswar, Kathmandu. Shah also claimed that his manpower agency and the Nepali Embassy in Saudi Arabia have not responded to his plea for help.
And Shah is not the only one facing this problem. Tulasi Thapa, Arjun Shrestha, Chabi Lal Gautam of Dang, Shrawan Limbu, Naresh Kumar Chaudhary of Sunsari and Abjal Musal Man of Kapilvastu too have faced the same problem. They have completed a year waiting to return home.
On top of that, during the three year stay so far, they have also been able to find work for only 17 months, according to Naresh Chaudhary, who also shared his story to RSS over the phone.
The company they were working for was blacklisted and hence its permit was not sufficient to help them return home. "We could neither make some income, nor return home. We are living a jailed life," Chaudhary said. Chaudhary and his friends had gone to Saudi Arabia from the Swastik Overseas in Baneswar, Kathmandu.
President of the Migrant Nepali Coordinator Committee Kul Prasad Karki said that many Nepali migrant workers are facing problem due to the 'kafala law' of Saudi Arabia.
A labour agreement between the two governments could help resolve the problem, said Karki, who also returned home after working for a decade in Saudi Arabia.