Riyadh, Saudi Arabia:
At least 300 Indian workers, who were stranded after being duped by their recruitment agencies in India, are set to leave the Saudi Arabia for their home country, with their sponsor finally agreeing to pay for the return journey after the Indian Embassy's intervention.
An official at the community welfare department of the embassy said the workers were recruited in bulk from different places in India and contracted to join ongoing airport development work in Riyadh but on arrival they were directed to do odd jobs for various other companies in different parts of the Kingdom as the concerned company for which they were hired could not win the airport contract, Arab News reported.
"The contracted company here wanted to outsource the workers to other companies and send them for work in various parts of the Kingdom," the official said.
He said that few of them went to some places to work but majority of the workers refused to go and remained stranded.
Later, they approached the embassy saying they have been duped by their recruiters in India as the job to be done here does not match with their work permit, he said.
He added that the workers were paid their wages, but all of them wanted to return home.
The embassy approached the company to find a solution and after pursuing the matter they agreed to repatriate them soon with the return tickets.
According to the workers, majority of whom are from Kerala (about 150) and Andhra Pradesh, they have paid about one lakh rupees to the recruitment agencies in India for their job and travel expenses.
Members of some social service organisations assisting the stranded workers said Wednesday that the local job agents who recruited them in India cheated the workers of their money, which led to their sufferings.
Thanks to the embassy's intervention and the sponsor agreeing to repatriate them, they are going back home, one of them said.