An Indian man was forced to live on the terrace of a 6-floor building for 237 consecutive days in United Arab Emirates (UAE) after his employer did not return his passport despite settling dues.
Kerala-based Sajeev Rajan, a one-eyed man in his early 40s had been in UAE’s Ajman city over the past 8 months working for a construction company and had made the concrete terrace where he was eventually stranded. He was desperate to return home to Kollam in Kerala where his wife, children and aged parents were waiting for him.
Rajan survived on the terrace for the long 8 months by the generosity of construction workers and shop owners in the neighbourhood.
A local daily Khaleej Times, carried his story resulting in an outpour of support as even strangers offer to buy Rajan airline tickets, give him employment or provide monetary support.
Rajan said to the daily “Please send me home or I will die here, there is no money for food or room.”
“I do not have money for food, but a restaurant owner gives me food. One person gives me 3 dirhams per day for breakfast,” he added.
According to reports, Rajan’s employer S. Singh, who belongs to Punjab, said that he was “trying his best” to repatriate the worker.
Rajan had been living in company accommodation for two years, surviving on a meagre salary of 900 dirhams ($245) until his contract ended on March 11. Since then, Rajan had been trying to reach India but was not successful, despite having approached Indian Consulate, community associations and labour courts.
“I got a call from the consulate asking about my situation. Last time at the consulate, my employer had agreed to settle everything within four days. But nothing happened,” said Rajan.
“For eight months, I knocked on several doors for help. I have been to the Indian consulate many times and I hope I will be able to go home soon,” he said in the report.