J’khand’s rescue act: 7 stranded workers in Mali return to state

Ranchi: Seven out of 33 migrant workers mainly from Giridih, Hazaribag and Bokaro regions, who were stranded in Bamako in Mali since October, finally returned to Jharkhand on Saturday after state government acted swiftly last month following a tweet about their deplorable conditions in the place of work.

According to a statement from state IPRD department today, state government learnt about these workers on January 16 through social media tweets which highlighted their plight without payment of salaries and lack of food to survive. Some of the workers also rued that their passports were seized while the head of the company—Kalpataru Power Transmission Limited—which employed them, had returned to India.

“The workers wanted to come back and sought help from the state government. Soon after we learnt about their plight, chief minister Hemant Soren directed the department concerned to work for their early return,” stated the IPRD official.

On January 18, a meeting was held at the Mali embassy between workers and company representatives during which it was agreed that their unpaid salaries will be paid and that the company will arrange for their tickets. On February 3, the workers boarded the flight from Bamako and reached Ranchi on Saturday (February 5).

“Following their verification and testing, they will be forwarded to their respective homes. Rest of the workers will come tomorrow,” said an official.