Indian migrant workers stranded in Afghanistan

ajtr

Tihar Jail
Banned
Joined
Oct 2, 2009
Messages
12,038
Likes
720
I know that indian govt. employees like BRO,ITBP are working in afghanistan,but was astonished to know about the indian migrant workers in war torn country.

Indian migrant workers stranded in Afghanistan

January 10, 2010. Dozens of Indian labourers have been forced to take refuge in Kabul's Karte Parwan Gurdwara, the centre of Afghanistan's small Sikh community, after job agents who promised lucrative jobs in the unstable capital disappeared, leaving the men penniless and without passports. Around 200 stranded men were crowded into the temple last month. Many flew home after their families scraped together funds for flights and travel documents, but over 30 are still stuck.
 

ajtr

Tihar Jail
Banned
Joined
Oct 2, 2009
Messages
12,038
Likes
720
Stranded Indian workers seek shelter in Afghan temple

Dozens of Indian labourers have been forced to take refuge in Kabul's Sikh temple after job agents who promised lucrative jobs in the unstable capital disappeared, leaving the men penniless and without passports.
Billions of dollars in Western military contracts have turned Afghanistan -- long a source of refugees fleeing chronic conflict -- into an unlikely magnet for migrant workers willing to risk their lives for a more lucrative pay packet.
Around 200 stranded men were crowded into the Karte Parwan Gurdwara, the centre of Afghanistan's small Sikh community, last month. Many flew home after their families scraped together funds for flights and travel documents, but over 30 are still stuck.
Mumbai native Subhedar Khandu is one of them. He said he paid 150,000 Indian rupees (USD3,300) to an agent who promised he would earn USD800 a month doing construction in Afghanistan.
"I took out a loan to pay the agent, who I met in Bombay. I thought I would get a one-year contact," Khandu said.
Instead, when he arrived in November, he was locked up in a house with other labourers, given only one meal per day and no work or salary. When his visa expired a month later, the agent vanished and the men turned to their embassy in desperation.
"We were locked in a kind of camp for one month. This is much better but we have nothing to do still, we just sleep a lot."
Contractors supplying foreign troops, who have been fighting in Afghanistan for over eight years, often rely on foreign migrant workers for menial but comparatively well-paid jobs in construction, food preparation and other fields.
Many of those stranded had been transferred from Dubai, a popular destination for poor Indians who often pay hefty fees to secure work earning much more than they could at home.
"About six months earlier, we had stray cases of Indians sent by unscrupulous agents to Afghanistan from Gulf countries, mainly from Dubai, on the false promise of remunerative employment," the Indian embassy in Kabul said in a statement.
"This trickle suddenly turned to a veritable flood, including also some cases of use of fraudulent visas," the statement added.
The embassy is helping cover the costs of feeding the men, and has also sent doctors to check their health, but declined to give an overall total of the number affected.
Often barely literate and with few resources or connections, migrant workers are highly vulnerable to fraudsters and cheats. Khandu said he had already lost money when another fake agent sent him to Bangkok for a job that also did not exist.
But strained labour markets and low wages at home mean many feel they have little choice but to seek work overseas.
Diplomats helped arrange for the men stuck in Afghanistan to stay at the Gurdwara. Sikh temples traditionally have a free food kitchen attached, and in Kabul a central hall has also been turned into an ad-hoc refugee camp.
A mix of men from Rajasthan, Mahrashtra, Andhra Pradesh and other Indian states now spend most of the day huddled round a brazier or dozing under blankets waiting for rescue.
They are trained as carpenters, electricians and masons, but work is short in Afghanistan and they worry about security problems if they go out. The embassy says it is doing as much as it can to help this batch and prevent a repeat of the fiasco.
"The Afghan authorities have been requested to exercise caution in granting visas for potential Indian workers in Afghanistan by checking on their employment status," its statement said.
 

ajtr

Tihar Jail
Banned
Joined
Oct 2, 2009
Messages
12,038
Likes
720
Stranded Indian workers seek shelter in Afghan temple


Indian migrant workers stranded in Afghanistan eat lunch at a Sikh temple in Kabul, January 10, 2010. — Reuters
KABUL: Dozens of Indian labourers have been forced to take refuge in Kabul's Sikh temple after job agents who promised lucrative jobs in the unstable capital disappeared, leaving the men penniless and without passports.

Billions of dollars in Western military contracts have turned Afghanistan — long a source of refugees fleeing chronic conflict — into an unlikely magnet for migrant workers willing to risk their lives for a more lucrative pay packet.

Around 200 stranded men were crowded into the Karte Parwan Gurdwara, the centre of Afghanistan's small Sikh community, last month. Many flew home after their families scraped together funds for flights and travel documents, but over 30 are still stuck.

Mumbai native Subhedar Khandu is one of them. He said he paid 150,000 Indian rupees ($3,300) to an agent who promised he would earn $800 a month doing construction in Afghanistan.

“I took out a loan to pay the agent, who I met in Bombay. I thought I would get a one-year contract,” Khandu said.

Instead, when he arrived in November, he was locked up in a house with other labourers, given only one meal per day and no work or salary. When his visa expired a month later, the agent vanished and the men turned to their embassy in desperation.

“We were locked in a kind of camp for one month. This is much better but we have nothing to do still, we just sleep a lot.”

Contractors supplying foreign troops, who have been fighting in Afghanistan for over eight years, often rely on foreign migrant workers for menial but comparatively well-paid jobs in construction, food preparation and other fields.

Many of those stranded had been transferred from Dubai, a popular destination for poor Indians who often pay hefty fees to secure work earning much more than they could at home.

“About six months earlier, we had stray cases of Indians sent by unscrupulous agents to Afghanistan from Gulf countries, mainly from Dubai, on the false promise of remunerative employment,” the Indian embassy in Kabul said in a statement.

“This trickle suddenly turned to a veritable flood, including also some cases of use of fraudulent visas,” the statement added.

The embassy is helping cover the costs of feeding the men, and has also sent doctors to check their health, but declined to give an overall total of the number affected.

Often barely literate and with few resources or connections, migrant workers are highly vulnerable to fraudsters and cheats. Khandu said he had already lost money when another fake agent sent him to Bangkok for a job that also did not exist.

But strained labour markets and low wages at home mean many feel they have little choice but to seek work overseas.

Diplomats helped arrange for the men stuck in Afghanistan to stay at the Gurdwara. Sikh temples traditionally have a free food kitchen attached, and in Kabul a central hall has also been turned into an ad-hoc refugee camp.

A mix of men from Rajasthan, Mahrashtra, Andhra Pradesh and other Indian states now spend most of the day huddled round a brazier or dozing under blankets waiting for rescue.

They are trained as carpenters, electricians and masons, but work is short in Afghanistan and they worry about security problems if they go out. The embassy says it is doing as much as it can to help this batch and prevent a repeat of the fiasco.

“The Afghan authorities have been requested to exercise caution in granting visas for potential Indian workers in Afghanistan by checking on their employment status,” its statement said.
 

Rage

DFI TEAM
Senior Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Messages
5,419
Likes
986
Menon arrives in Kabul to discuss security of Indians

Posted: Friday , Mar 05, 2010 at 1159 hrs
Kabul:



During his two-day visit, Menon is expected to meet President
Hamid Karzai and some other leaders.



Carrying certain proposals for ensuring security of about 4,000 Indians in Afghanistan, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon arrived here on Friday to discuss the issue with the Afghan leadership.

During his two-day visit, Menon will meet President Hamid Karzai and some other leaders of Afghanistan.

Soon after his arrival, Menon held discussions with Indian Ambassador Jayant Prasad with regard to safety of the estimated 4,000 nationals working on various developmental and reconstruction projects across Afghanistan in the backdrop of last Friday's attack here.

The Indian government has evolved certain proposals for the security of its nationals and these will be discussed by Menon with the Afghan authorities, sources have said.

The proposals include the setting up of protected venues where Indians working on projects could be housed.

There are also suggestions for deploying security personnel at places where Indians work.

"There is a limit to what Indian government can do there. Ultimately, Afghan authorities have to take steps to ensure the security of Indians here," a source said.

The sources noted that the Afghan government has always been cooperative in this regard and expressed confidence that it would take further steps to upgrade security of Indians.

As part of India's USD 1.3 billion assistance, about 4,000 Indians are working on various projects in areas like healthcare, power, education and the social sector.

The review of their security was necessitated after last Friday's attack on two hotels in Kabul, targeting Indians specifically. Seven Indians, including three Major rank army officers, were killed and nine others, including five army officers were injured in the attack.

The attack on February 26 reflected a change of strategy by the terrorists as they chose soft targets rather than secure installations like the Embassy or Consulates and their protected personnel as in the past.

After the terror strike, Karzai assured Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that his government would take extra measures to protect the Indians.

Besides discussing security, Menon is also expected to enquire about the progress of investigation into the incident.

Afghan authorities have said the attack was carried out by Lashkar-e-Taiba. However, investigators suspect the involvement of the Taliban faction of Haqqani as well.


http://www.indianexpress.com/news/menon-arrives-in-kabul-to-discuss-security-of-indians/587223/1
 

Vinod2070

मध्यस्थ
Ambassador
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
2,557
Likes
105
Really surprising. I know some people want to go to foreign shores but to Afghanistan!

These job agents should be punished prompto and awareness raised about the security risks there. Only people working with bonafide companies should be allowed to emigrate.
 

Latest Replies

Global Defence

New threads

Articles

Top