AS many as 33 Bangladeshi construction workers are having to live in subhuman condition in Tikrit city of Iraq dominated by Sunni rebels for more than a week now. They have been left stranded by the company owners in a fear-stricken deserted city which even the locals have fled from.
The foreign workers face three major handicaps: First, they have no food, water and electricity to subsist on or get by even in enclosed surroundings; secondly, they are completely immobolised by the fact that their employers have taken away their passports. Last but not the least, no local or international helpline is available in such an utterly disorderly situation to be stretching their hands to.
In desperation, therefore, Bangladeshi workers are making frantic calls individually to whoever they know at home to share their anxiety for some organised efforts to rescue them urgently.
As other countries, especially India, have got a move on to locate and establish with their nationals in Iraq our foreign ministry in Dhaka in press release has assured that they are in regular communication with Bangladesh embassy in Baghdad. Our missions in neighbouring Iran, Kuwait, Jordan and Turkey are also in touch to 'ensure safety and security of Bangladesh nationals.'
That is all very good but we are still into preliminaries and clearly need make a headway with authorities in arranging their safe relocation or repatriation .For this to happen, the expatriates welfare and overseas employment ministry and ministry of foreign affairs will have to coordinate unfailingly.