It is a bitter truth that everyone knows but many do not want to talk about. The Goans who migrate to various countries in search of better prospects have a lot of strings attached which most of them do not speak about, but that fact remains that they really face tremendous hardship to maintain the status quo. This story is about two Goan youth who were working in Saudi in very pathetic conditions.

There have been many cases wherein these fraudsters lure innocent people with good offers and take advantage. People migrate to the Middle East with dreams of getting a good job and supporting their families back in Goa, but these hopes are shattered by these fraud agents who sell dreams in the air. They threaten the victims and employ them into menial jobs with adverse working conditions. Many a time, these victims fall into the prey of human trafficking.

The discovery of oil in the Gulf and the growth of job opportunities encouraged Goans to migrate to the Middle East. The industrialisation that was taking place in the late 90s caused due to the development of the oil industry led to the need of labours which proved to be a boon for the Goans.  In the last 30 years, due to the need in the improvement of living standards, a lot of Goans have migrated to the Gulf in search of good a good job.

One such case of an innocent man being a victim of such a fraud agent was reported in 2018. A Goan youth named Sameer Naik was forced to work as a camel herder by his employer who had stripped Sameer of his passport, mobile phone, and other documents illegally. He was forced to work in those adverse conditions and was beaten up when he refused.

According to Goa Prism, Sameer was promised a job of a driver and was taken to Saudi Arabia by Siraj Ansari, an agent from a Mumbai based on overseas recruitment company N S Enterprises. According to his brother, Sameer had left Goa on May 7, earlier in 2018 and was kept at Hyderabad till May 23 by this agent. He also added that Sameer was not alone and many people from India were taken to Riyadh with lucrative offers on May 23 of 2018.

Sameer was then taken to a desert village in Saudi Arabia and was forced to work in adverse conditions. The duty which began at 4 in the morning continued till midnight. He was allowed only 4 hours of rest. This unfortunate incident came into light when Sameer managed to inform his family about this through a phone call. Several efforts had been taken by his brother to rescue Sameer but none were successful.

Another incident of the same sort was reported wherein, Chandrakant Sinari, a Goan working in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, finally directed to escape from his work site and reach to the Indian embassy in Riyadh. After working hard for almost 8 months without proper food, salary, medications and facing constant assault by the officials, he managed to escape from their clutches.

According to an article published by Goa Prism, he explaining his condition said, “There was no water, no food and no room to stay. When we demanded our salary before resuming work, we were assaulted badly and were sent to Yemen and were forced to feed water to camels and goats.”

Chandrakant’s Identity card was also taken away from him. “Nobody entertained any of my requests as I did not have the ID card. But I was determined to flee even though I was 1,200 kilometres from the embassy,” he said.

These incidents surely make one re-think about migrating abroad. Of course, these migrations have helped solve poverty and increase the living standards but when it comes to matters of trust, one should always be cautious. These are only some of the many incidents that have taken place in the past and many of them even go unreported. It is quite difficult to escape from their clutches once captured.

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