Hyderabad/Ahmedabad: The 1,200 Indian workers stranded in Angola are not keen on coming back home despite the government making arrangements for their return, Minister for Overseas Affairs Vyalar Ravi informed Parliament about it on Wednesday.
With dreams of a better future for his family, Vijay Valmiki of Petlad in Gujarat, left for Angola to work in the electrical division of a cement factory. He got the job through a Vadodara-based placement agency.
Though Valmiki and many others like him were promised wages in American dollars, they were paid in the local currency. They have been allegedly taken hostage for protesting against the factory.
"I appeal to the politicians to step in and do something to save my son and bring him back," says Chimanbhai Valmiki, Vijay's father.
"He is in danger and all I want is for him to return home to us," says Jashodaben Valmiki, Vijay's mother.
Officials of the cement company, located near Sumbe city of the African country, have even allegedly confiscated the passports of all the 1,200 workers, leaving them with no option but to return to India by themselves.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi met Vijay's father and blamed the government for dragging its feet over the impasse.
"The Central Government is sleeping over the issue, while the lives of 1200 Indians are in danger in Angola," said Modi.
In Andhra Pardesh, 300 families are waiting to hear from their loved ones. Chief Minister Kiran Reddy has written to External Affairs Minister SM Krishna, urging him to expedite the release of the 300 trapped workers from the state.
"About 250 workers are from Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts and 50 from Hyderabad. Their passports have been confiscated and 15 of them have been reportedly detained till now. I shall be grateful for your earliest intervention in this regard," Reddy wrote to Krishna.
The worried parents of the workers have urged the government to intervene into the matter quickly and ensure their safe return.