Mangaluru, May 16,2017: Two youngmen from Dakshina Kannada are pursuing the help of Indian embassy in Saudi for safe passage back to India. They have been practically enslaved for about 6 months on a remote desert sheep farm.
Damodar Shettigar, 31, of Gandhinagar in Ganjimat near Mangaluru, and Puneeth Jayaraj, 25, of Mulki left for Saudi Arabia in December last year to work as auto spray painters. However, it was only after they reached the country that the duo realised that they would be asked to look after a sheep farm.
They said they have filed complaints with the Indian embassy through an online consular grievances management system of the Ministry of External Affairs on April 4. They have also kept the recruiters in Mangaluru and Mumbai abreast of the problems created.
Shettigar said that both he and Jayaraj had paid nearly Rs 80,000 each to the agent to obtain visas and for other expenses. "We told the agent that we were not given the job that was promised when we applied for the visa. The agencies kept promising us that we would be shifted to a workshop soon, but we are being tortured here," said Shettigar, adding that their passports had been withheld by their visa sponsor. Jayaraj said that they had to work in the scorching heat. "We’ve been requesting the Indian government to help us return home as soon as possible," he added. However, with no response from any quarter or any fairness from the recruiter, and their plight going extremely painful and intolerable.....they after all introspection and exploring all means decided to go to the media.