Kin of the nurses from Kerala and the construction workers from Punjab, who are stuck in Iraq, are struggling to keep up the hope.
“After some of the Indian TV channels carried stories narrating the plight of our daughters, the Indian embassy and Red Cross officials advised them not to talk to the media unnecessarily and gain undue attention. As a result of this they are not even taking our calls,” said P Jose, a native of Kottayam, whose daughter had gone to Iraq last year.
Some of the relatives denied reports in the press that the stranded nurses (46 of them) agreed to work in the war-torn country since ISIS militants promised they would clear their salary arrears and dues. “They are spreading canards. How can they ensure salary and other benefits?” said the brother of one of the stranded nurses.
Narrating the plight of the workers in Iraq, Sanjeev Kumar, a native of Jalandhar who is now working in Baghdad told HT over phone, “There is no one for our well-being here. Most of the day we work in the open, braving the sun and strong winds.” He said that an estimated 2,000 workers from Punjab are still stranded in Najaf, Baghdad and Karbala.
He said that with every passing day coming back to India is getting tougher. “There is more and more misrule and chaos in Najaf. I am told the militia is marching towards Najaf,” he said.