Twenty-six Nepali men have been languishing without any money in Qatar’s capital city of Doha for the past five months after their employer fled without paying them.
The victims have been living in a quarter provided by their employer. New Families Association, a non-profit organisation, has been offering them food.
“The Mudir (manager) fled without paying us. He had been operating four companies for which all 26 of us used to work,” said Man Bahadur Sunuwar, who hails from Kanchanpur.
They had been promised a monthly salary of 911 Riyals when they arrived to Qatar for employment. Sunar said some of them had landed in the country only a few months ago. “Even our visas have expired because our companies did not send them for renewal. We were conned and now we are forced to
live as illegal migrants. We are afraid to venture outside because the authorities could detain us for our illegal status,” he said.
A native of Morang district, Nabin Bhattarai said that local labour department has denied registering their complaint since a case has already been reported against their employer by the other victims. Besides 26 Nepalis, 20 Indian nationals are also with them. “The department officials have advised us to take our grievances to a high court,” said Bhattarai.
Prakash Khapange, also from Morang, said they have spent five months without any work, and that they wish to return home.
“We owe more than 40,000 Riyals to a local store from where we had been buying food and other essentials. The store owner has stopped selling us groceries. We are caught in a difficult situation,” he said.
Indra Dev Pandey, the labour attaché to Qatar, said they are trying to contact the company’s officials to provide them their due salary and fly them home.