Search for lucrative jobs leaves 16 Nepalis stranded in Qatar for months

Nepal’s embassy in Doha says it has started the process to send them home
 
CHANDAN KUMAR MANDAL
 
As many as 16 Nepali workers, who had reached Qatar for employment, have remained stranded there for nearly three months.
 
The Nepalis had landed in the gas-rich nation on different dates after they were promised lucrative jobs. Once they were in the country, they realised that they had been duped and were left without food and money.
 
These workers were pledged menial jobs that would provide them with a minimum monthly salary of Qatari riyal 1,200 to 1,400, besides the facilities for food and accommodation. After struggling without money and jobs, the workers then approached the Nepal embassy in Doha.
 
“When they realised that there was no possibility of job for them, these workers contacted the embassy for help. Two workers, however, did not show up,” Narendra Raj Gyanwali, labour attaché with the Nepal embassy, told the Post over the phone. “They were sold beautiful dreams. Some had come here nearly three months back and others only last week. Now, they want to return home.”
 
The workers had reached Qatar through different recruiting agencies in Nepal.
 
According to Gyanwali, the firms included Al Haya HR Solution Pvt Ltd and Jugal International Overseas Pvt Ltd.
 
The embassy’s investigation showed that the workers were duped into flying to Qatar on promises that they would be able to choose companies to work after landing there.
 
Qatar has remained one of the most preferred job destinations for Nepalis applying for foreign employment. While the 2022 FIFA World Cup hosting nation is improving its policies towards migrant workers, Nepali workers often end up being cheated and stranded in the tiny state at the hands of Nepali agents and recruiting companies.
 
“The Qatari government is strict about taking action against those who are found to have cheated migrant workers. So Qatari nationals are not involved in these issues. Mainly small recruiting agencies and their agents in Nepal lure poor workers,” added Gyanwali.
 
Cases of cheating of Nepali workers through fake contracts and demand letters, however, have come down since the government last year made it mandatory for recruiting agencies, which supply workers for foreign companies, to seek worker demand letters approved by Nepal’s foreign missions in the destination countries.
 
As per the “Foreign Employment Related Demand Letter Enquiry Directive-2018”, Nepali embassies, consulates, Permanent Missions, Special Missions and other diplomatic missions of Nepal verify the demand letter submitted by the companies or recruiting agencies on behalf of the hiring firms for obtaining human resource from Nepal.
 
Since the stranded workers wanted to return to Nepal immediately, the embassy has started their repatriation by contacting with their recruiting agencies and subagents--Samrat Mainali and Kiran KC, who were to receive the workers in Qatar.
 
“When the embassy contacted these agents and their associated manpower companies, they agreed to send the workers back to Nepal by providing [flight] tickets,” added Gyanwali.
 
The embassy official said repatriation of the stranded workers has begun. At least three of them have already returned home.
 
“The remaining workers will reach Nepal in the next few days. They can contact the Department of Foreign Employment for claiming their compensation [pay],” added Gyanwali
 
Published: 14 April 2019/ The Kathmandu Post

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