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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Migrant worker

Image Courtesy :- Google Images

One of the many heart rendering tale of the plight of migrant worker in the gulf I heard recently from a friend who knew this person who worked in gulf for over 25 years staying a forced bachelor during his entire adult life. One Devan from Kerala, eldest of three siblings came to gulf way back 1986 as a technician and being the eldest son the onus of taking care of the entire family was on him. He toiled for 3 continuous years working from morning to evening and also till night so that he earns a bit more with overtime and then proceeded on 2 months leave to home. During this leave the wedding of his first of two sisters was conducted and it was a lavish affair burdening him with loans. So he leaves back for work in gulf. While he was here the next 3 years his parents had seen a girl for him and also a groom for the second sister and wanted both the weddings be done during the time their son comes on leave. This took place during early 1993 and when it was time to return back for work in gulf Devan’s wife was   pregnant with their child.

Devan goes back to work alone since in his position he will not get family status and in few months’ time he gets the news that his wife has given birth to a son. His joy had no bounds for and was waiting for his leave which was in 1996. He toils even harder for the responsibility of the upkeep of his wife, son and aged parents are still on and towards the end of three and half years he proceeds on his vacations of 2 months. He goes with a thought of discussing with his wife of leaving the job at gulf and finding some suitable employment in Kerala itself so that he could stay with his family. During the vacation wife becomes pregnant again and his added responsibilities did not allow him to discuss the thoughts of relocating to Kerala with his wife. He had now on his own decided the he would work for 2 more terms of 3 years and then retire. So back he goes and keeps working until 2004 during the ensuing period both his parents have passed on and also his youngest sister and her children has come back home due to differences with her husband.

During his leave in 2004 he broaches the topic of returning back to India and settling down at Kerala itself as he is missing the family, but this time the wife says that it is better that Devan keeps working abroad as it ensures good living for her and their children and also the burden of the sister’s family does not hurt much. Now with these discussions Devan is forced to back to gulf for work and during his leave after every 2 or 3 years he keeps discussing about his coming back to Kerala. However now both children are on the verge of entering the college for higher education and also to maintain a status symbol in the society he had built a house on ancestral property he has no choice but to keep working in gulf living away from the family and earning for them.

Devan, finally went back to Kerala permanently in 2014 in a coffin.  He died a lonely death far away from home with only his fellow workers and staff around him. He toiled his entire life leaving like a third class citizen in Gulf country so that his family back home can lead a comfortable life. This is the story of so many workers from India…the burden of taking care of entire family rests on their shoulders and they do take care of it with a smile on their face without giving much thought about their own pleasures of family life. 

This is a true story.

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