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300 Kerala nurses stranded in UAE after agents lure them with jobs
The nurses, said that they paid agents in Kerala about 12,000 dirhams.
Nearly three hundred nurses from Kerala who arrived on visitor visas are reportedly stranded in the emirates across the UAE.
Many said that the employment agents in Kerala attracted them by offering high salaries and other employment benefits. They even resorted to borrowing money from banks for trips to the UAE.
After staying in the dormitories in Deira, the agents moved many of them to Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain. The Khaleej Times tried to contact the agents using the numbers provided by the nurses but failed, it said in a report.
The consulate general in Dubai said the embassy and consulate have been in touch with various UAE-based community associations to help the trapped nurses.
So far the consulate has not yet received any request to repatriate Indian nurses, a statement from the mission said. The nurses, however, said that they paid agents in Kerala about 12,000 dirhams.
Two of the nurses have sent a letter to Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan requesting help.
Reena Rajan, a 30-years-old nurse from Pattazhi in the Kollam district, said: “I came to Dubai months ago. I have been working in private hospitals in Kollam for nine years. When this opportunity arose I quit my job and signed a contract and paid 2.30 lakh to the Ernakulam-based agency and later she was granted a visit visa.”
Married with a three-year-old son who is being cared for by her father, Reena does not want to return to India empty-handed.
“I was told that nurses have jobs at COVID-19 vaccination and testing centers,” Reena said. When she arrived in Dubai, the situation was not what she had hoped for. “We stayed with 14 other women. After several weeks of waiting, they say they realized they were trapped in a fake operation.
Kiran Raveendran, a Dubai-based social activist, told Khaleej Times that the nurses started coming here from October to November last year. “I got my first call in October-November last year. This is the corruption that is going on right now. While many nurses from India get jobs in the UAE, many are left helpless,” she said.