Muscat: A 52-year-old homeless Indian worker in Oman, who has no job and is suffering from various diseases, has threatened to end his life unless he gets help to return to his home country.
Mohammad Rafiq has written to M Bheem Reddy, vice president of the Migrants Rights’ Council (MRC), seeking help to return to India as he has no job and nowhere to stay, a daily reported. “I am living in a farmhouse, suffering with hernia, kidney pain, and joint pains,” Rafiq wrote in a letter to the MRC, based in Hyderabad city.
He also wrote that his neighbours had taken him to a private clinic but he had no money to pay for prolonged treatment. “I have four daughters and one son, please send me back to India otherwise I will commit suicide in Muscat and my family will die in India,” he wrote in his letter written in his native language Telugu.
Reddy, who visited Muscat earlier this year to take up similar cases with the Indian embassy, forwarded the letter to Rita Samuel Ruchika, who runs a helpline website to assist Indian workers in distress.
“I have taken up Mohammad’s case with the Indian embassy and the officials have assured me that if he obtains a medical certificate they will speed up his repatriation case with the local authorities,” she said.
She took Rafiq to a clinic and also visited the farm where he stays. Rafiq came to Oman with a reputed company as a plumber in 2008, but after working for a year with the company he was talked into opening a coffee shop by an acquaintance.
“I found the proposal to start a coffee shop attractive so I quit my job with the company and went back,” Rafiq was quoted as saying by the daily. When he returned on a new employment visa, he realised there was no coffee shop but he was made to dig an open plot in Ibri. “I asked my sponsor, who had proposed the coffee shop business, to release me but he demanded 400 Omani riyals,” he said, adding that he had no option but to flee.
Rafiq did odd jobs for a year. “The tightening of the labour laws after 2010 made it difficult for me to get freelance work,” he said. “Since then he has been waiting to get a call and leave Oman but when his patience ran out he wrote to the MRC,” Samuel said.