Telangana shepherd stuck in Saudi to return soon

By Author  |  Published: 13th Jun 2019  12:52 am

Jeddah: The shepherd from Telangana, who was being held against his will in the deserts of Saudi Arabia, is finally set to return home later this month with the help of TRS working president KT Rama Rao.

Paleti Veeraiah, whose plight was first highlighted in Telangana Today, later shared a video on social media which went viral. He sought Rama Rao’s help to rescue him from the clutches of his employer (kafil) and help him return home.

Speaking to Telangana Today, an elated Veeraiah expressed his gratitude to Rama Rao and the embassy officials for helping him out. Hailing Rama Rao, he said there was a sense of relief now after two years of working with camels.

In the video, Veeraiah, who hails from Timmapur mandal in Karimnagar, can be seen atop a camel in a desert asking for help. He said he herds and takes care of 100 camels. “I’ve been in Saudi Arabia for two years. My employer is not sending me back home even to visit my ailing wife and did not allow me to attend my mother’s funeral,” he claimed.

Responding to the request on social media, Rama Rao sought help from the Indian Embassy in Riyadh to bring the aggrieved shepherd back home. The embassy swung into action and contacted Veeraiah’s employer, who agreed to send him after Ramzan.

Unable to wait, a frustrated Veeraiah caused harm to some camels and also assaulted his co-shepherd, Tirupati, from Karimnagar. He doused himself in diesel, stored for an agriculture pump in the farm, and tried to set himself on fire, but his co-workers thwarted the attempt, sources told. He escaped and reached Riyadh — 1,150 km away from his place — a week ago, where one Narsimha of Nizamabad, who works as water tanker driver, gave him shelter.

Veeraiah met the Indian Embassy officials who contacted his employer and recruiting agency in Mumbai, which sent him to Saudi Arabia. He is set to travel on June 25 and will reach Mumbai the following day.

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