“There is no one to listen to the misery of these people who are returning every day"
Twenty-year-old Md Selim of Sylhet went to Saudi Arabia three months ago with the dream of a better life. He spent Tk4 lakh to go there.
But Saudi Arabian police detained him and sent him back. He returned home empty-handed.
Selim is among 103 Bangladeshis who returned to Dhaka Thursday night. The Saudi Arabian Airlines flight carrying them arrived at 11:20pm.
The Brac Migration Programme, with the help of the Expatriate Welfare Desk at Dhaka airport, provided the returnees with food, water and other necessary assistance.
Talking to reporters, Selim said police in Saudi Arabia detained him on road without any reason. He was not given any chance to speak.
Anhar of Sylhet also returned to Bangladesh empty-handed after facing a similar situation. He went to the Middle Eastern country 14 months ago.
Saiful Islam of Gazipur's Sreepur upazila expressing his anger at the airport. He said the recruiting agency told him that he would work in a company in Saudi Arabia.
"I will file a case against the agency," he said.
Around 4,000 Bangladeshis, including 175 women, returned this year, according to the Brac Migration Programme.
The Expatriate Welfare Desk data show a total of 64,638 Bangladeshi workers returned home last year.
Chief of Brac Migration Programme Shariful Hasan said, "There is no one to listen to the misery of these people who are returning every day. We listen to their stories. It seems from their descriptions that the Saudi officials are sending back tied cows and goats, not humans."
"A middle-aged man was crying at the airport last night. He told me, 'are we not human beings?'"
"I think government officials and the recruiting agencies should come to the airport and listen to these people one day. Based on their descriptions, there should be investigations into who are sending them abroad and why the Saudi Arabian officials are behaving rudely with them.
"There needs to be a solution to this," Shariful added.
He said Brac is providing counselling, training and financial support for the returnees so that they can turn their life around.
"We do not end our duty just by assisting these migrants at the airport."
Shariful emphasised that there should be an urgent work strategy so that all of us can stand by them.
The government and private organisations have to work together in this regard, he added.