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{mosimage}Last week a news in "Gulf News" was disturbing me a lot. It dealt with the rising trend in the suicide of Indian workers (54 in 2003 to 85 in 2005) and Indian workers form the majority of suicide attemps. Even shocking was the bias of the report that it tried to project that Indians attempt suicide wherever they are, thus washing off the hands against the exploitations here in UAE. Every suicide victim has a wrenching & moving story behind them, some come here for repaying the debts, some for the dowry of their sisters). Many pay downpayment of about Rs. 1 lakhs to the agents to land in the job that fetches Dhs. 750~800 (approx INR. 8500 ~ 10,000) with false promises of overtime jobs.

But many find it shocking that they are not even paid regularly and the absence of proper labour laws favours the capitalists only. It is common to see unpaid labourers staging protestation on Dubai road and the government sending a notice to the organisation, then what happens is similiar to the "commissions set up by Indian Govt. to probe any cases". i.e no result.

One of my friend's brother was offered a job for Dhs. 2500/- p.m under the condition of a downpayment of Rs. 1 lakhs to an agent in India for a contract job of 1 years that can be extended under the discreetion of the employer. He was very eager to comedown but my friend who is here told him not to come. The simple economics go like this:- Deduct Dhs. 500/- for accomodation, Dhs. 500/- for food and Dhs. 150/- for ISD calls (90 minutes a month) and Dhs. 800/- towards reclaim of what paid to the agent and misc expenses of Dhs. 100/- and you are left with Dhs. 400 as savings. For this Dhs. 400/- savings, you are losing the privileges like being with the family, watching the kids growing and performing your duties are a good son / husband / father, which I feel is worthier than that Dhs. 400/-). If you are a boozer or have strong sexual urges, then nothing is left to save.

Life is not all rosy for Gulf NRIs as people think of Dubai life. It is worser than what we have in India. NRIs build big home at their hometown and the family is enjoying them, but the person who builds it slogs in a bedspace (sometimes shared by 3-4 persons per room) or dormitories (normally in labour camps). Sometimes people back India make unreasonable demands to those in abroad thinking that NRIs have so much of money without knowing how to spend and that is really sad. One of my friend's cousin told that he needs this particular Nokia model mobile as gift when he is on vacation to India, and the mobile costed about 1/4th of his salary. Most of the guys manage to save their "reputation" by taking loans heavily through credit cards. One of my friend has used 3 credit cards and is paying dues for them with taking home Dhs. 500/- only.

{mosimage}If I say this to my friends and friends, but they think that I am trying to discourage them from coming up in life thinking that they will reach my level. Really a sad state. Most of the companies choose to select people of ages 21~22, not because they see the spark, but they know that the guy won't ask for a high rise till 26-27 age. Most managers come to India for body shopping and recruit 10-15 people at a time, not out of love of their country but Indian labours are damn cheap and age factor. Don't be surprised if you see a local or Westerner getting 4 times of salary for the same work you do. Also the chasm between wellpaid and underpaid is so wide that keeps the lowpaid aspiring for the higher plane. Eg. A guy getting Dhs. 3000/- won't jump to another job for Dhs. 4000/- but will consider another offer only if offered above Dhs. 6000/- due to employment ban regulations involved with job jumping.

I don't say coming to Gulf is not at all a good option, but if got a direct appointment from the company and salary is fine above Dhs. 3000/- for a single person with not much of obligations (not for a family man), then you can consider, if the company is a prompt pay master of salaries. Almost 50% of the companies won't pay on time. What I had written above is an indispensable expense and can't be compromised. If you want to bring your family, then the expenses will be min Dhs. 3000/- (with Dhs. 1500 ~1800, for sharing a room and kitchen with another family in a flat, Dhs. 500 for provisions and other expenses as per your living standards) and the woman also should work. With rents sky rocketting, if I land in a situation that I have to sacrifice my family life to save some money / the living standards is too costly for my income here, I won't think twice to pack my bags to India.

{mosimage}All I could ask you people is to create an awareness among the least educated people aspiring to go abroad not to get cheated by the middle agents. Exploitation of female housemaids is another shocking story. Less I write is better. I will blame the low paid workers also who show-off (bandha) during their stay hiding the facts, creating a false impression about life abroad, serving inspiration to others that if they too go abroad. At the end nothing is peaceful and happy as being in the homeplace.

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About myself
Maheshwaran
Author: MaheshwaranWebsite: https://www.maheshwaran.com
I am a SAP Consultant in my late 30s, residing in the happeing IT City - Bangalore. My interests vary from reading to travelling to handicrafts to photography. My latest interest is on Body building. May be this vivid interest keeps me going in my life without getting bored.

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