The journey to Saudi Arabia that a father-son duo from Talwandi Mallian village in Moga took to earn for their family has turned into a nightmare as they have got ‘stuck’ there for three years after the company they were working withheld their salaries and passports.
For Kewal Singh, who had gone to Riyadh city of the country in 2009 as a driver, everything was going smooth till he took along his son Lacchman Singh with him in 2014 for the same job.
“Since I brought Lacchman here, the company namely ‘Alglawy’ started harassing us by deliberately delaying our salaries and also confiscated the passports,” Kewal Singh said while talking to Hindustan Times.
Kewal claimed that a video message recorded by him also went viral on the social media of which taking cognisance the Union external affairs ministry had approached them by sending officials from the Indian embassy but they have also failed to help them so far.
In an emotional video Kewal, who is also suffering with a serious leg injury after it was bitten by a cat three months ago, is heard begging for help and asking Indians to make the video viral that somebody would listen to it to help them to escape from the ‘hell’.
“We are in a big trouble as salary totalling 52,000 riyals (₹17 per riyal) — 35,000 riyals of mine and 17,000 riyals of my son — is pending with the company, which they have not been giving despite repeated requests,” Kewal was seen requesting in the video.
“I am having a severe leg injury and if it won’t get timely treatment doctors would amputate it,” he said in the video.
Kewal, during a telephonic conversation, said if the Indian government would fail to listen to his cry, he would be left with no other option but to commit suicide as his family, including wife, three sons and one daughter, who were dependent on both, have no other source of income.
Kewal’s younger son Jasvir Singh, who himself had returned from Saudi Arabia with much difficulty on a white passport four months ago, said that he was working in a different company which had also confiscated his passport.
“After I tried to return to India illegally, I was nabbed by the police and jailed for some days, after which the Indian government helped to bring me back to India,” he said.
According to Jasvir, he and his mother do labour work in the village to make a living.
Deputy commissioner (DC) of Moga Parveen Kumar Thind was not available for comments despite repeated attempts to talk to him.