By: Rohit Alok
Twenty one students (15 boys and six girls) from a Thane-based hospitality institute are stranded in Malaysia after the recruitement agency that got them jobs was blacklisted and they were fired from their jobs. While three of the girls were employed with Aloft hotel in Kuala Lumpar, the remaining were recruited in another hotel in Pening, Malaysia.
All were students of the SES College of Hotel and Tourism Management on August, 2013. The students were sacked by the hotel management immediately after the recruitment agency was blacklisted, said Sachin Kohli of the institute.According to the mother of one of the students, a Singapore-based recruitment agency, UPC, had approached the institute and managed to place the students in hotels in Malayasia.
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“They are without any money and they don’t know how to return from Kuala Lumpur,” said Vandana Suryavashi, mother of Pooja, one of the students. “The one-year contract was drawn last year,” said Pooja’s sister Sheetal. The family lives at Kalwa. The other two girls who were employed with the hotel in Kuala Lumpar have been identified as Poonam Patil and Bharati Gholawade, from Ghatkopar and Bhiwandi, respectively.
“In 2013, Pooja took a bus to Banglore on August 15 from Vashi along with her friends. That was the last time I saw her. They finally took off for Kuala Lumpar on August 17,” Vandana said. “The institute had asked us to coordinate with a particular agent, Sidhesh Deshmukh from UPC, who was facilitating all visa and travel-related formalities for us,” she claimed.
There appears to be some problem in their visa, which is not allowing them to work further, and also with their contracts that were apparently drawn only for a year but were extended to two years, she said. Meanwhile, Pooja’s family members said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had spoken to the girls earlier on Wednesday and promised to ensure their safe return. The director of the hospitality institute is currently in Delhi co-ordinating with the Ministry of External Affairs.
The principal and another staff member are on their way to Malayasia, sources said.