Hyderabad: Since the formation of Telangana state in 2014, the bodies of 1,261 migrant workers have been sent back home from the Gulf. The death of the workers has left their families helpless and looking to the government for help.
Chief Minister, K. Chandrasekhar Rao, had promised to give Rs 5 lakh ex gratia to bereaved families. This has not been done so far. Activists working for the welfare of emigrant workers demanded help for the families suffering after the death of their bread winner.
The case of G. Ramesh is typical. He had migrated to Sharjah and shifted to Dubai where he suffered a brain hemorrhage and died on January 31. He is survived by his wife, Gummala Rajitha, and two children.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, Ms Rajitha of Jagtial district, said, “In January he messaged me stating that he was going to ask the company for travel fare to return home as he was not feeling well. That was the last message from him.” Twelve days later, his colleague called her to say that Ramesh had died of brain haemorrhage. “My husband worked in the company for almost three years. The company had not paid him for more than five months,” Ms Rajitha said.
Ms Rajitha is herself suffering from a cardiac problem.
“I have two children to look after. My husband used to send `15,000 each month and I used to do tailoring but it wasn’t sufficient.” One of her children is aged 13 and the other 10, studying in government schools.
Ms Rajitha went into a depression after she heard of her husband’s death and is just recovering.
“My tailoring work doesn't earn me much. Our mandal parishad member promised that he would get me a job as an anganwadi worker. I have going to government offices since then but in vain. They are making me to do the rounds but nothing is materialising.”
She has recently approached the Jagtial collector for help and is awaiting a reply. “We have been sleeping on empty stomachs. For Dasara, I borrowed money and bought dresses and food for my children.” She wants government help to get the five-month salary that the Dubai firm owes her husband.
The case of Marupaka Anjaiah and his family is similar. Anjaiah went to the Gulf in 2013 to earn money to repay a `4 lakh debt. He died of a heart attack in Saudi Arabia and his body was repatriated on September 8.
His wife, M. Niraja, works as a beedi worker and her children are doing their Class 10 and Intermediate final year, respectively. “Since my husband’s death I cannot afford their fee. After working all day, I get `100 which is not sufficient to feed my children.” Her brother Laxmi Narayana said, “The family is struggling. They don’t own a house and do not have land to do cultivation. I have been helping them but it is not sufficient. And I have a family to take care of.”
A migration policy should be implemented and welfare board constituted in view of such cases, activists said. Mr Mandha Bheem Reddy, president, emigrants welfare forum, said, “The NRI policy, which is in its draft form should be implemented as early as possible.”
He said Mr Chandrasekhar Rao had promised ex gratia for the families of those, who died in the Gulf and wanted it fulfilled.
He said the government should conduct a survey in the state to identify migrants, form a board and implement welfare schemes for them, he said.
Mr P. Narayana Swamy, president of the migrants rights council, said, “Then Chief MInister K. Kiran Kumar Reddy had granted `1 lakh ex gratia, which was implemented. After state bifurcation, no one has received ex gratia.”...