Indian on cook’s visa forced to work in animal farm

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Daisy

An Indian who came here more than a month ago to work as a domestic cook has claimed that he was instead taken to an animal breeding farm near Saudi Arabia’s border to take care of sheep, goats and camels.

The man, who gave his name as Nurul Huda, 35,  told this newspaper yesterday that he ran away from the farm on April 30 and was spending time near a mosque in Doha since then. He said after he left the farm early in the afternoon he walked for three to four hours in the scorching sun before he reached a main road where waved a passing mini-bus for a lift.

Huda, from the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, said he had no idea where to go when the bus driver asked him where he was headed to. “I just told him I wanted to be dropped in a city and that’s how I landed in Doha.”

Huda said the bus driver demanded QR30 from him but he didn’t have any money on him except 10 Indian rupees, so he pleaded for help. However, once in Doha he said he somehow found his way to the Indian embassy and there he was given QR100 to take care of his basic needs.

According to Huda, he has been sleeping outside a mosque in a city neighbourhood and the people coming there for prayers keep helping him with cash with which he buys food and water.

He said he was given a paper by the embassy to take it to the CEID. “I went to the CEID and handed the paper. They have called me back tomorrow (today).”

“My passport is with the man who picked me from the airport and took me directly to this animal breeding place.”

Huda claimed that in the farm he slept under an iron shed with no air-conditioning. “I became desperate when temperatures began soaring, and eventually escaped.” “There was another man in the farm and he said he was from Bangladesh and he was on a ‘free visa’ and so was stuck there for a while.”

At the farm, there were more than a 100-150 sheep, goats and chicken and two camels. “My job was to feed and take care of the cattle stock, something I didn’t know anything about.”

Huda said he was a good cook and prepared food for marriages in his and other villages in his home district of Azamgarh in eastern Uttar Pradesh. 

“My father bought a cook’s visa for me from a man from a nearby district, Jaunpur, on which I landed here but only to be dumped in an animal breeding place in a desolate area.”

Married and with five small children — four of them daughters — Huda, who is illiterate, said he was promised a monthly salary of QR800. “All I want is to go back.”

The Indian embassy couldn’t be contacted for comment, but Huda said the mission had so far been helpful.