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Homeless Indian in Oman wants to end life

Desperate illegal worker has no money for treatment

  • By Sunil K. Vaidya, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 12:40 October 14, 2012
  • Gulf News

Mohammed Raffiq at a farm in Oman
  • Image Credit: Supplied picture
  • Indian Mohammed Raffiq (left) at a farm in Hail area of Muscat.
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Muscat: A desperate homeless Indian worker has threatened to end his life unless he gets help to return to his home country.

Mohammad Rafiq, 52, has written to M. Bheem Reddy, Vice-President of the Migrants Rights’ Council (MRC), seeking help to return home as he has no job and nowhere to stay.

“I am living in a farmhouse, suffering with hernia, kidney pain, and joint pains,” Rafiq wrote to the MRC which is based in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad.

He also wrote that his neighbours had taken him to a private clinic but he had no money to pay for prolonged treatment.

“I have four daughters and one son, please send me back to India otherwise I will commit suicide in Muscat and my family will die in India,” he threatened in his letter written in his native language Telugu.

Bheem Reddy, who came to Muscat earlier this year to take up similar cases with the Indian embassy, forwarded the letter to Rita Samuel ‘Ruchika’, who runs a Helpline website to assist workers in distress.

“I have taken up Mohammad’s case with the Indian embassy and the officials have assured me that if he obtains a medical certificate they will speed up his repatriation case with the local authorities,” she told Gulf News.

She took Rafiq to a clinic and also visited the farm where he stays. “There are three to four people being given shelter at a farm in the Hail area and they sleep under a tree,” she said.

Rafiq came to Oman with a reputed company as a plumber in 2008 but after working for a year with the company he was talked into opening a coffee shop by an acquaintance. “I found the proposal to start a coffee shop attractive so I quit my job with the company and went back,” Rafiq told Gulf News.

When he returned on a new employment visa he realised there was no coffee shop but he was made to dig an open plot in Ibri. “I asked my sponsor, who had proposed the coffee shop business, to release me but he demanded 400 Omani riyals [Dh3,817],” he said, adding that he had no option but to flee.

Rafiq, who suffers from rheumatism, a kidney ailment and unbearable hernia pain, absconded and came to Sohar where he did odd jobs for a year. “The tightening of the labour laws after 2010 made it difficult for me to get freelance work,” he said, adding that he sought to return home and registered with the embassy for an outpass.

“Since then he has been waiting to get a call and leave Oman but when his patience ran out he wrote to the MRC,” said Samuel, who also comes from Hyderabad.

The social worker, who has made it her mission to help people with suicidal tendencies through her website Helpline, has taken up the case to help Rafiq deal with his depression and return home as early as possible.

“I am personally taking him to doctors and following up with the Indian embassy so he can be reunited with his family in Hyderabad as soon as possible,” she said.

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