Migrant worker get compensated

Three months after joining a company in Qatar, Ram Babu from Janakpur was asked to return home. Reason: He was declared 'medically unfit' by the medical test conducted in Qatar which is mandatory for all migrant workers. Irony: He was certified 'medically fit' by the medical test conducted in Nepal without which migrants do not get approval for foreign employment.
He was diagnosed with lung nodule, which appears in the form of a spot in the chest X-ray. He was deported the very next day. Back home in Janakpur, SaMi Returnee Volunteer (RV) Tapeshwar Raut met Ram Babu and advised him about claiming compensation. Tapeshwar was surprised when he saw Ram Babu’s deformed leg, and his disinterest in claiming compensation. Despite explaining to Ram Babu that medical claim compensation was valid only for 35 days from the day of return to Nepal, Ram Babu showed no interest.
Tapeshwar asked Ram Babu about his leg’s condition and was told it was a deformity since birth. The local agent, the recruitment agency and the medical centre in Kathmandu told Ram Babu that his legs would never be an obstacle to work abroad. Subsequently, he was sent to Qatar as a mason helper.
Ram Babu recounted, ‘’I was happy with my job in Qatar. All I had to do was carry concrete mixture from one end of the building to the other in a pushcart. I could perform my work pretty well and nobody ever complained of my work’’. He added with a rueful smile, ‘’I was never given the medical report, so I still don’t know if they sent me back because of the leg or because of the spot in my chest X-ray’’.
Ram Babu spent his savings within two months of his return. This time, he called SaMi RV Tapeshwar and said he wanted compensation from the local agent for misguiding him. Ram Babu disclosed that he had contacted the agent soon after his return to Nepal and was assured that he would be compensated timely. But two months after, the agent had stopped taking his calls and was avoiding him. Tapeshwar referred Ram Babu to the Information and Counselling Centre (ICC) managed by SaMi inside the District Administration Office premises in Janakpur.
ICC called the local agent and Ram Babu to the DAO premises and mediated for compensation. Although Ram Babu had paid NPR 100,000 to the agent, he was compensated with NPR 30,000 only. The agent argued that Ram Babu had already been paid for three months by the company. Additionally, this case had exceeded the 35 day deadline set by the Government of Nepal for claiming medical compensation.
How Ram Babu was allowed to fly to Qatar remains unanswered. But, he is happy to receive prompt service from the ICC which helped him get compensation that the agent had been ignoring for over two months. He says he will now go for a thorough health check-up, and is committed to find work in Janakpur.