Deserted by foreign bosses, Indians toil in Saudi desert

Deserted by foreign bosses, Indians toil in Saudi desert
Updated 28 January 2014

Deserted by foreign bosses, Indians toil in Saudi desert

Deserted by foreign bosses, Indians toil in Saudi desert

They left India with dreams of earning decent money in the Gulf, but ended up in the deserts of Saudi Arabia, deserted by their sponsors in Qatar and Kuwait. At least five cases of Indians, originally taken to these two countries on employment visas, and then smuggled into the Kingdom to work as farm laborers, have come to light.
These five Indians were offered attractive jobs in Qatar and Kuwait, and are now stranded in the Kingdom, are not in a position to approach local authorities nor return to their original host countries or return home.
Parmesh Gupta from Uttar Pradesh, Mohammed Omar from Bihar and Ahmed Hasan, were hired as drivers to work in a business organization in Qatar on monthly salaries of QR. 1200, they said. Later, they were however brought into the Kingdom through Salwa border near Al-Ahsa and forced to work as farm labor, they said, alleging that they are not only being ill-treated and harassed by their employers but are not being paid.
Narrating his tale of woe to Arab News amid frequent breaking of signal, Mohammed Omar said: “I get up at sunrise, take the camels to the desert and return at sunset. I pray to Allah every night that this should be my last day here and that I can return home. I cry every day. I can’t even use my mobile phone since the signals are poor in the desert and for weeks, we end up without signals.”
Ahmed Hassan, after several attempts, managed to escape from the farm and reached Dammam where he sought the help of Indian authorities to end his ordeal and return home.
In another similar case, Dasayan Mickaldhas and Vincent Shajin, both hailing from Tamil Nadu in southern India, were recruited by a Kuwaiti business firm that controls function halls to work as electrician and foreman.
The duo, speaking to Arab News over phone, said: “We were brought into the Kingdom by our Kuwaiti sponsor in July last, and we have been working since then in a remote place as shepherds for camels. We are living in a tent in the desert without even the basic facilities.”
Shajin said: “We were not aware of our location for several months. Only recently, we came to know the location after we met another Indian shepherd accidentally. He said another person was also brought to Kuwait and later smuggled into Saudi Arabia to work as shepherd.”
He said: “We have been told by our local employer that our Kuwaiti employer had sold us to him. We haven’t received any salary and are also being subjected to physical assault. We are in desert far away from cities, and we do not know the language or procedures here. We just want to return home.”
In a similar case earlier, Vallipu Kanakaih from Andhra Pradesh, who arrived in Qatar to work as a mason, ended in Nariya in the Eastern Province to work as a camel shepherd. He escaped from there and reached Jeddah to be arrested and deported.
After falling ill, he was shifted to King Abdulaziz Hospital where he was treated for a few months and later repatriated to India. When Arab News reporter visited him at the hospital then, he said: “It took me nearly two years to flee from the desert and camels to reach Jeddah.”
All these workers alleged that they have been deprived of wages and basic facilities and do not know whom to approach as their visas and sponsors are not Saudi citizens.
GCC citizens can bring their domestic workers along with them to the Kingdom on short term visas through border check-posts.


Houthi drone falls on school in Saudi Arabia's Asir region, no injuries reported

Houthi drone falls on school in Saudi Arabia's Asir region, no injuries reported
Updated 4 min 14 sec ago

Houthi drone falls on school in Saudi Arabia's Asir region, no injuries reported

Houthi drone falls on school in Saudi Arabia's Asir region, no injuries reported

ASIR: A Houthi booby-trapped drone fell on a school in Asir but no injuries were reported, the General Directorate of Saudi Civil Defense reported on Sunday.

The Civil Defense said it had received reports of a projectile launched from Yemen by the Houthi militia towards one of the Aseer region’s governorates that turned out to be a drone that had fallen on a school.


KSRelief performs dozens of heart surgeries in Mauritania

KSRelief performs dozens of heart surgeries in Mauritania
Updated 13 June 2021

KSRelief performs dozens of heart surgeries in Mauritania

KSRelief performs dozens of heart surgeries in Mauritania

RIYADH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) has performed 33 open heart surgeries and 50 cardiac catheterization procedures  in Mauritania since the start of the year. 

The operations were carried out by KSRelief volunteers as part of a project with the Muslim World League (MWL). 

The project helped low-income patients by diagnosing and treating cardiovascular conditions. 

KSRelief currently has 14 food security and health initiatives in Mauritania including leading first aid training and providing food baskets.


Saudi crown prince extends condolences to Kuwaiti counterpart for death of Sheikh Mansour

Saudi crown prince extends condolences to Kuwaiti counterpart for death of Sheikh Mansour
Updated 13 June 2021

Saudi crown prince extends condolences to Kuwaiti counterpart for death of Sheikh Mansour

Saudi crown prince extends condolences to Kuwaiti counterpart for death of Sheikh Mansour

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman expressed his “sincere condolences” and sympathy to his highness Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah Crown Prince of the State of Kuwait, after the passing of Sheikh Mansour Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah.

In a phone call on Sunday the crown prince of Saudi Arabia said he prayed for  forgiveness and mercy on behalf of the deceased. 

On Friday, King Salman and the crown prince extended their condolences in a phone call to the emir of Kuwait.


Saudi Arabia announces 19 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 19 more COVID-19 deaths
Updated 13 June 2021

Saudi Arabia announces 19 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 19 more COVID-19 deaths
  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 448,093
  • A total of 7,572 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced 19 deaths from COVID-19 and 1,017 new infections on Sunday.
Of the new cases, 344 were recorded in Makkah, 198 in Riyadh, 155 in the Eastern Province, 84 in Asir, 68 in Madinah, 60 in Jazan, 23 in Najran, 18 in Hail, 10 in Tabuk, 10 in Al-Baha, five in the Northern Borders region and two in Al-Jouf.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 448,093 after 1,133 more patients recovered from the virus.
A total of 7,572 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.
Over 15.6 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the Kingdom to date.


Saudi Arabia’s Tawakkalna app operating in 75 countries worldwide

Saudi Arabia’s Tawakkalna app operating in 75 countries worldwide
A man displays his details on his mobile phone using the Tawakkalna app as he enters a mall in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (REUTERS)
Updated 13 June 2021

Saudi Arabia’s Tawakkalna app operating in 75 countries worldwide

Saudi Arabia’s Tawakkalna app operating in 75 countries worldwide
  • An app launched last year by Saudi authorities to help track coronavirus infections is available in 75 countries worldwide
  • The Tawakkalna app was recently updated to show someone’s COVID-19 health status, showing them to be vaccinated or infected, and now functions as a “passport”

JEDDAH: Countries in the first phase of the app’s international availability include: Kuwait, the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Jordan, Algeria, Sudan, Somalia, Morocco, Tunisia, Djibouti, Libya, Egypt, Mauritania, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, South Africa, Lebanon, Nigeria, India, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Bangladesh, Portugal, Czech Republic, Denmark, Sweden, the UK, Norway, Austria, the US, Japan, Greece, Spain, Estonia, Italy, Ireland, Iceland, Brunei, Belgium, Poland, Germany, Singapore, Switzerland, France, Finland, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, Croatia, Canada, Latvia, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Malta, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Netherlands, Maldives, and Azerbaijan.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs office in Jazan temporarily closed the Budaiya Mosque in Abu Arish governorate after it was confirmed that the imam had COVID-19.

Field teams undertook preventive and precautionary measures, including sterilization operations and comprehensive maintenance, in preparation for reopening the mosque and receiving worshippers at a later date.

The ministry noted the keenness of worshippers and their active role in reporting mosques that did not comply with health and safety instructions and failed to implement preventive measures.

FASTFACTS

464,780 Total cases

446,960 Recoveries

It asked everyone to report future similar incidents by calling 1933.

Saudi Arabia on Saturday reported 16 more coronavirus-related fatalities, taking the overall death toll to 7,553.

There were 1,077 new cases, bringing the total number of infections 464,780. There are 10,267 active cases, of which 1,562 are in a critical condition.

Of the newly recorded cases, 348 were in Makkah, 225 were in Riyadh, 149 were in the Eastern Province, and 69 were in Madinah.

Authorities said a further 906 patients had recovered from the disease, increasing the total number of recoveries to 446,960.

The country has so far carried out more than 20.27 million PCR tests, with 75,059 carried out in the past 24 hours.

Testing hubs and treatment centers set up throughout the country have dealt with hundreds of thousands of people since the onset of the pandemic.

Taakad centers provide COVID-19 testing for those who show no or only mild symptoms or believe they have come into contact with an infected individual.

Tetamman clinics offer treatment and advice to those with virus symptoms such as fever, loss of taste and smell, and breathing difficulties.

Appointments for both services can be made via the ministry’s Sehhaty app.

Saudi Arabia has vaccinated 15,633,787 people to date.