Four youths from Maharashtra who headed for Iraq hoping for better financial prospects are now stranded in the war-torn country as the firm they work for has not paid them their salaries for the last four months, and has now demanded USD 500 from to arrange for their air tickets back to India.
The distraught families of the youths have now appealed to the Indian government to bring their boys back, as they don't have the money to return on their own.
All the four youths – Dynaneshwar Bhosale, Nitin Kamble, Pramod Sonawane and Balaji Bhosale – hail from Nilanga town in Latur district.
Unemployed and in poor financial condition, the four young men were in desperate need of work. "Rasul Shaik, a resident of the same town, was aware of the financial condition and suggested them to go to Iraq so they would get better pay. Within a few months, Shaik introduced them with the Mumbai based agent and arranged a job for all of them," said Dynaneshwar Bhosale's brother, Sambhaji.
Dnyaneshwar Bhosale told dna told over the phone from Iraq: "In December 2013 we got a placement with with the Almahel construction company in the Basrah city of Iraq. Our salary was fixed at rupees 25,000 as the construction worker. We individually spent around Rs 1.2 lakh and went to Iraq. But after getting paid for the first two months, we are left unpaid even after working".
"As the Iraqi cities are affected due to war crisis, they can't even move out of the current location. They can't even purchase basic commodities as they are running out of money. Adding woes to their problems, the Iraqi company has demanded money from its employees to return their passports and to arrange air tickets. When they don't have money to eat food, from where and how will they give money to the company", asks family members of the stranded youths.
Dnyaneshwar Bhosale added: The company has signed an agreement of two years, but we don't have a copy of the documents. The company authorities says, complete two years and then will arrange free air tickets, and to relieve us now, we have been asked to pay USD 500 to the company so that they can arrange our air tickets. At the same time, from the last 10 days the company has been giving us false promising that we would be send back to home."
The family members of all four youths earn their bread and butter by working on a daily wages in farms and have no fixed source of income. To fly to Iraq, Nitin Kamble had borrowed money from lenders on interest. But now the family members are bankrupt and have lost their house.
To bring the stranded youth back, family members have submitted letters to the police department and the district collector, which has assured them of all possible helps.