VILLUPURAM: Nearly 20 people from Tamil Nadu, who went to work in Saudi Arabia as daily wage labourers, on Wednesday sent an SOS to the Indian government through a video in which they recorded their plight without food and money for the past many months there.
The video has since gone viral in Villupuram and relatives of one among them, who is from a village near Ulundurpet, wants the government to take action and bring the distressed workers back home.
According to sources, Murugan (40) of Ilupaiyur village, near Ulundurpet, a construction worker, had gone to Saudi Arabia in 2013 with the help of an agent and was working there. Murugan used to talk to his family and send money regularly. But from the end of 2014, he stopped sending any money and called them up rarely.
It was then that he told his relatives that the company he was working for had stopped paying wages. On Wednesday, his relative Balamurugan of R R Kuppam, who saw the video and photos of Murugan and his co-workers’ condition on WhatsApp, learnt about his and 19 other co-workers’ plight.
They were all from Tamil Nadu and for the past one year, haven’t been paid properly. Moreover they were not served good food by the company, which also denied the workers money to return to India.
Since all of them were poor they could not return home. They were staying in a single room and petitioned the officials in the Indian Embassy there, but no action was taken. So they all requested the Tamil Nadu government to take action to bring them back.
Murugan’s family demanded the State and Central governments to take immediate action to bring them back and also take severe action against the company, which had allegedly cheated the workers.
They are also planning to submit a petition to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s Special Cell and Villupuram district Collector regarding the issue.