Why India is silent on the deaths of its migrant workers in Qatar

Nearly 2,500 Indian workers involved in projects for the ongoing FIFA World Cup reportedly died between 2010 and 2020. Yet, the government chose not to take a public stand.

Trigger warning: A part of this story contains a graphic account.

Thota Dharmender saw a man die for the first time in 2019.

“He fell from 50 metres,” he recalls. “The iron rods from the building’s foundation pierced his stomach. It was all over in seconds.”

The man, a 45-year-old from Bangladesh, was working at a port construction site in Qatar. He wasn’t wearing a safety harness—none of the workers were. The contractor, whose job it was to ensure that they all wore safety gear, said he was a victim of his own negligence. His family didn’t receive any compensation. …

Author

Omkar Khandekar

Omkar specializes in long-form narrative features and has reported from India, the UK, Germany and the Maldives. He writes across beats, from politics and crime to cinema and sports. His works have been published in Indian and international outlets including The Caravan, Mint Lounge, the BBC, Al Jazeera and The Huffington Post.

Senior Features Writer

omkar@mailtmc.com

Delhi