Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Stranded Carpenter in Bahrain to Fly Home to India after 25 years (from Gulf Daily News)

An Indian man, stranded in Bahrain because he had no legal documents to prove his citizenship, is leaving in December under the government's general amnesty after working here for 25 years. Gopalakrishnan Achari, 52, came to Bahrain on March 27th in 1983 to work as a carpenter with a construction company.He says that he worked for the company for three-and-a-half years on a BD60 basic salary and then had to seek employment elsewhere after it started losing money and he wasn't getting paid.He also claims his sponsor gave his passport and legal documents to immigration officials, but that he could not retrieve them since no one knows their whereabouts.Indian Embassy officials had provided him with a letter to obtain a certificate from his panchayat(village court) stating that he is an Indian citizen."I obtained the certificate from my village and the embassy has provided me with the out pass," said Mr Achari."My passport and all other legal documents were taken by my sponsor a few months after I reached Bahrain. "I had to live on loans from friends as I had no fixed job."However, I am happy as I can now see my family after25 years. I thank the government and the embassy for providing this opportunity."Mr Achari has three brothers and three sisters, all married and settled in Ernakulam, Kerala.Two friends of Mr Achari, Sunil Kadri and Vivian Mascarenhas helped him get the relevant legal documents and promised to pay the ticket expenses too.

Why do the gulf employers insist on keeping the passports of the third world citizens they employ? The WTO should make this practice illegal. They don't do it for Americans and Brits and Canadians and other first world citizens..just for poor people from the third world.....Its completely coercive and racist.


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