Qatar is the host country of 2022 Football World Cup, the preparations for which are in full swing. However, the ugly news about the poor state of 600 Indian construction workers working on the Qatar 2022 Football World Cup infrastructure is showing the country in bad light.
The workers have not been paid their wages for eight to nine months, and are now facing issues such as job loss, the expiry of visa, substandard living conditions in labour camps, according to the workers and official communications.
After the news came out in media, Qatar has been facing the backlash of the world for treating the workers involved in building the infrastructure for the upcoming World Cup in the most inhuman way.
An Indian official, however, has claimed that nearly 300 workers have been provided work in other companies, while few have been brought back, reported The Hindustan Times. However, affected labourers are saying that they have received no words on their compensation after working for eight to 10 years.
“We are now left to the mercy of people who help us on a charitable basis for food. We do not even have electricity in the daytime, but just about manage to get generators running in the night,” said S Kumar, who is from Kerala and worked for the firm for eight years. He said he had not been paid for last six months.
A plumber, who worked for the company for nine years, said they have no option but to wait. “I cannot even go to a hospital for the fear of getting caught as my visa has been expired,” he said on condition of anonymity.
“I had to borrow money to arrange for my flight back home. I feel hopeless. I pawned my property to come here two years ago. This is what life has given me here,” said another worker.
The workers were employed by HKH General Contracting Company, which once employed 1,200 workers, but is now undergoing heavy financial loss.
The Indian embassy in Qatar took up the matter with the company after 25 workers wrote to them on April 10 complaining that they had not been paid for months. However, the embassy received no response.
The Indian embassy in Qatar also approached the country’s administrative development, labour and social affairs ministry, confirmed an official, saying, “The ministry has assured us all humanitarian assistance.”