Hyderabad: A Jagtial resident, who was on the verge of being sent back home after working for more than two decades in Saudi Arabia, died last week of an alleged heart attack. The family is now waiting for his body.
Ponnam Satyanarayana, 48, had last come home in 2015. His family says all formalities have been completed but the hospital dues have not been paid and his body is not being released.
His family said Satyanarayana was a washerman who went to Saudi Arabia to work as a painter with the Saudi Lebanese Modern Construction Company in Riyadh. He stayed with the company for the last two decades.
He used to return for six months every two years to meet his family, comprising wife Vasantha and sons Shiva Kumar, who is now doing his MTech and Raghu who is studying for his engineering. Ms Vasantha makes bidis. His family said he was paid well.
After the company started making losses, it started retrenching em-ployees. Satyanarayana was among the last 50 left. He had called his family on March 10 to tell them that his papers were being processed and he would return soon.
The next they heard that was that he had been admitted to hospital, where he died later.
“We heard that the embassy gave clearance the same day, but the hospital is delaying (the process) as their bills are not cleared. The employer is not concerned as his Iqama has expired,” said Satyanarayana’s elder son Shiva Kumar, who is pursuing his MTech. He said his father was not paid wages for 14 months and his service benefits were also due. There is a case in the labour court on the issue.
“We have requested that the mortal remains of my father are sent at the earliest, and that his employer release his salary dues and service benefits for 20 years,” Mr Kumar told this correspondent.