Jeddah: Many Telangana NRI construction workers in the Gulf are deprived of compensation for occupational injuries since they work contrary to the local rules.
In the latest case, 55-year-old Lingam Madhu, who sustained an injury to the eye and lost vision while working in Saudi Arabia, was deprived of the right to claim compensation.
Though a legal resident in Saudi for eight years, Madhu, a native of Gambhiraopeat mandal in Rajanna-Sircilla district, failed to renew Iqama (resident visa) two years ago and became an illegal resident, like thousands of other Indian workers.
A professional craftsman and tile mason, Madhu was working at a construction site when bricks fell on him and a nail hit beneath his eye two weeks ago. For two weeks, he had struggled to take treatment as he had no valid Iqama, thus no valid health insurance coverage. Doctors advised him to go for an eye surgery immediately.
Iqama can’t be renewed or issued unless the applicant has a health insurance cover. In this case, Madhu had failed to renew Iqama and there was no health insurance for him.
As he was an illegal worker, he was not entitled to file any claim for workmen compensation of occupational injuries. He also cannot avail treatment in Saudi since he is also an illegal resident. Travelling back home to India for treatment was also not an easy task for Madhu.
After two weeks of struggle, Madhu contacted a prominent Indian community worker, Nass Vokkam of Kerala, who secured travel permission for Madhu.