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Express Impact: Centre, Telangana offer to help kin of Qatar dead get jobs, compensation

Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said Friday that he has asked the Indian Embassy in Doha to help the bereaved families secure compensation from the Qatari employers involved.

On Thursday, The Indian Express reported that the families of the workers, from Punjab to Bihar and Telangana, have been left in the lurch with a common complaint: no compensation from employers of the workers who died there.

A day after The Indian Express reported on the deaths of Indian migrant workers in Qatar while working on projects or in jobs linked to the football World Cup, the Centre and the Telangana government have stepped in to assure help to their next of kin.

Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said Friday that he has asked the Indian Embassy in Doha to help the bereaved families secure compensation from the Qatari employers involved. Mohammed Mahmood Ali, Home Minister of Telangana where several of these families are based, said the state is looking into the report so that a compensation package can be decided, including a government job for a family member if applicable.

“I have spoken to the Indian Ambassador in Doha. All the required assistance will be provided by the Embassy for the families… The Embassy will be providing all assistance for the families to approach the employers for compensation,” Muraleedharan told The Indian Express.

The MoS said he has made telephone calls in this regard. Sources said the Ministry will decide on further steps after receiving a response from the employers in Qatar.

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The Telangana Home Minister told The Indian Express that an official meeting will be held on the issue. “We will give government jobs to a family member. We are also considering financial help for the families after studying the situation. Thousands of workers are in the Gulf, and we will take all this into account, and decide on a package,’’ Ali said.

Telangana Minister for Labour, Employment and Factories, C Malla Reddy, said his department is also investigating the report of “deaths of workers from Telangana in Qatar”.

On Thursday, The Indian Express reported that the families of the workers, from Punjab to Bihar and Telangana, have been left in the lurch with a common complaint: no compensation from employers of the workers who died there.

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The newspaper tracked down these families over eight months by investigating official records, interviewing job agents, migrant welfare activists and local officials across the country, and filing Right to Information applications. It also spoke to nine of these families, meeting six of them at their homes across Telangana.

Responding to queries from The Indian Express, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the Qatari organisation in charge of delivering World Cup, had acknowledged that a total of 40 migrant workers from across the world lost their lives in Qatar after the country was awarded the World Cup in 2010 — and classified three as work-related.

The Committee claimed there were “significant improvements” in the welfare of workers for the World Cup, which starts on November 20, but said there is “room for improvement”.

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“We acknowledge that there remains a long journey ahead, and we are committed — with our partners in Qatar and beyond — to ensuring that we continue to deliver the legacy we promised. A legacy that improves lives and lays the foundation for fair, sustainable, and lasting labour reforms,” it said.

On Friday, Telangana Minister Ali said that the state’s Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao “has told us to identify the victims and trace their families and offer support and help”.

First published on: 22-10-2022 at 04:03 IST
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