Media activism at its supreme form in Arabia. A newspaper report by Indian journalist VM Sathish channelise support to for a stranded expat worker who is living on a terrace for eight months at Ajman in the UAE
A Keralite who had been living on the terrace of a building for the past eight months in Ajman as his Indian employer had not returned his passport after settling his dues, was offered help overwhelmingly by people after a local media reported his plight.
Sajeev Rajan, a one-eyed man in his early 40s who worked for a Sharjah-based construction company, made the barren concrete terrace of a six-storeyed building his residence. He has been desperately trying to return home to Kollam, in Kerala, where his wife, two children and ageing parents await him.
After Sathish broke the story in Khaleej Times, several people have come forward with offers to buy air tickets, give him a job, or provide monetary help.
Rajan, an electrician, had been surviving off the generosity of some construction workers and shop owners in the neighbourhood during his 237-day stay on the terrace.
According to Khaleej Times, officials of the Indian consulate refused to comment on the issue.
Rajan’s employer told the daily on Monday that he was “trying his best” to repatriate the worker. “There is no other option but to wait for the labour court hearing and I don’t know when that is due,” S. Singh, the employer who hails from Punjab, told the daily.
On Monday, Rajan’s told Khaleej Times: “Please send me home or I will die here … there is no money for food or room.”
“I was living in the company accommodation for two years. My contract ended on March 11 and I wanted to go home. Working for Dh900 ($245) per month did not meet my expectations.”
“I do not have money for food, but a restaurant owner gives me food. One person gives me Dh3 per day for breakfast.”
Rajan told the daily that he has approached the labour court “several times”, the Indian Consulate, community associations and others “but nobody could help me”.
After getting offers of help on Tuesday, Rajan thanked the people for their support.
“I am happy that after a long time today I will get money for food. For several months, I had been eating from a restaurant without paying them.
“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.
“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.”
The Indian consulate had earlier told Khaleej Times that the employer had promised to settle the issue by the first week of October but nobody contacted them.