Punjabi enslaved in Malaysia rescued – Report

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Punjab, India | 16 Sept 2016 Asia Samachar |

strap-news1Ishak Masih, a tailor from Amritsar, had gone to Malaysia to secure a bright future for his three children, but his stay turned into a nightmare as he was treated like a slave in the foreign land for about nine months.

The 30-year old man was forced to work as a farm help for more than 16 hours a day, leaving him injured and mentally traumatised, reports an Indian newspaper.

But he somehow managed to contact his friends in Amritsar recently who ensured his return with the help of a local NGO, according to the Times of India (Punjabi enslaved in Malaysia rescued, 15 Sept 2016).

“Grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. I had left my shop for a brighter future to work as a tailor in Malaysia, but I was instead forced to work as a farm help,” the report quoted him. “I was interested in going to England, but my travel agent found me a job in Malaysia which I couldn’t resist. I thought it will be the first job abroad, and then I can go to another country.”

Ishak, who had left for Malaysian in December 2015, had reportedly paid around Rs 1.25 lakh to a travel agent to find him a good tailoring job overseas.

Founder and chairman of Madad Charitable Foundation Suneet Kochhar said one of Ishak’s friends had approached an office-bearer of their NGO seeking help to bring him back from Malaysia.

“We took up his case. Our team investigated and verified the facts and found that he had borrowed money for going abroad,” Kochhar was quoted in the same report.

In another entry, DailyO reported that early this year, 43 Indians had gone to Malaysia after paying up around Rs 50,000 each to work abroad.

“Before taking a flight, all were declared medically fit in India. But after three months of employment, they were told by their respective companies that they were unfit. The companies neither wanted to give them salary nor send them back to India. It was only after contacting Vinod Kumar Singh, a former MLA, that the 43 labourers could return home,” according to the report (Why Indian workers abroad are indebted to a former Jharkhand MLA, 11 Sept 2016).

Vinod Singh, a leader from Jharkand’s Bagodar constituency, has since 2009 helped hundreds of labourers come home from exploitative jobs not only in Malaysia, Kuwait and Kango (Africa) but different states of India as well.

The CPI-ML leader was a legislator from Bagodar, the largest assembly segment of Giridih, from 2005 to 2014. Earlier, Mahendra Singh, his father, was a five-time MLA before he was assassinated in 2005, according to DailyO, an online opinion platform from the India Today Group.

Vinod was quoted as saying: “That year, in January, I got a call from Malaysia and the caller said he was from Bagodar but his passport, as well as that of some others, had been seized by their employer company. They were forced to work without salary and only given two meals.” Along with the caller, there were 15 more people in the custody of the company this way.”

 

[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE. Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com]

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