Hello World! South Asian Workers in Saudi Arabia

Plight of South Asian Workers in Saudi Arabia

A lot of workers from South Asian countries go to West Asia, whose oil economy has circulated stories about their fabled wealth. Hence, these countries provide a venue for the South Asians for earning good income for their skilled or unskilled work that they do – or so they imagine till they reach there.

Amongst the West Asian countries, Saudi Arabia earns the maximum revenue from its vast oil reserves – which have only recently become second to Russia in the world. This revenue has turned an erstwhile poor country into a wealthy land which can provide good income for the skilled and unskilled labour from poorer countries like those from South Asia. The workers who go there are from both the categories and usually they stay there for a while, earn some money and come back.

However, the plight of many workers who go there, especially those who go for low-class unskilled jobs like household workers, drivers, construction labourers etc. is highly deplorable. Saudi Arabia – as also other West Asian countries – offer good working conditions only on paper. In reality, these workers are exploited, coerced into living in abominable conditions, abused, discriminated against in a shocking manner which surpasses all norms of human rights around the world.

Some of the common situations arising from this labour market are – their passports are illegally confiscated by the employers so that the workers can’t return home, they are paid lower wages than agreed upon, they are forced to work in jobs other than what they signed for, they are mistreated, abused physically, verbally, psychologically, in case of housemaids, they may be raped, forced into illegal prostitution, their movements curtailed – the list is endless.

They also have to live in shabby “Third World Like ghettos” in this fabulously wealthy land, as this image on the left shows. Besides, South Asian Muslims are not treated as fellow Muslims by the Arabs, who think of themselves as superior to everyone else and show a highly abusive behaviour towards the South Asians.

This is despite the fact that Indian investments in Saudi Business exceeds $1 Billion.

Only two examples are of these news reports which show how these two Indian maids have been exploited and abused and the seven Indian taxi drivers have been forced to work for lower wages and in jobs different from what they came to work for.

The Western world as well as the parent countries of these workers, including India, refuse to raise their voice against these exploitations of the workers, as their oil and business interests in Saudi Arabia will get hurt if they speak against the Saudi exploitations. Just because the West Asia exports oil to the world, it can hold the world to ransom and do whatever it likes to its foreign visitors, without getting any criticism from any quarter. And Saudi Arabia heads the list of these nations.

I welcome the visitors of this page to freely express their comments and discuss this problem.

3 Responses to “Hello World! South Asian Workers in Saudi Arabia”
  1. arewe says:

    What I wonder is that the conditions from which these people want to flee in India are they any better!

  2. Archana says:

    In fact they may be worse – in Saudi Arabia they don’t have the freedom they get in India. But the Saudi employment agencies don’t reveal these conditions while employing and many people are caught unawares.

  3. Be it people from India , Bangla Desh or Pakistan, people do not like to work hard while in their own country and think that Dollars grow on trees or they can dig Dollars from under the earth. Also these three governments have failed to appreciate the problems of masses which pushes resourseless people out of their country

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