Dubai: Seven Indian nurses stranded in Saudi Arabia without proper documents have been rescued and repatriated following intervention by the Indian Embassy.
The nurses were stranded in two separate cases without papers, an official working with the labour section of the Indian Embassy said.
"In the first case, four Indian female nurses - Ashley, Bindu, Aasha and Shely - came to the Kingdom five years ago to work in Aghsan Aliwy Hospital in Hafr Al-Batin," M Aleem said.
"The sponsor neither renewed the residence permits (Iqamas) of the workers nor did he allow the nurses to leave during vacations as per the provisions of the work agreements," he said.
Once alerted, the Indian Embassy established communication with the hospital officials and involved some local Indian community leaders.
"But, all pleas fell on the deaf ears of the sponsor, which finally led me to decide on a stronger course of action," Aleem was quoted by Arab News as saying.
According to Aleem, he then took the case to the Hafr Al-Batin deputy governor and the Director General of Health Mutlak Al-Khemyali, who extended full support in rescuing the nurses.
Al-Khemyali raised the issue with the directors of the Passport Department and Labour Office. He then called the Saudi sponsor to endorse the final exit visa and pay the air fares for the nurses.
"And thanks to the efforts of the Saudi officials, especially Al-Khemyali, that these nurses were finally repatriated to India last week," Aleem said.
In the other case, three nurses - Saramma Varghese, Subadhra Omana Kuttan and Sree Latha Vasudevan Nair - were rescued and repatriated.
These nurses were allegedly stranded after the new owner of a clinic closed down the organisation without giving any prior notice.
He also turned down requests to extend validity of their Saudi ID papers. These nurses had been working for the last 18 years and their clinic was handed over to another third Saudi citizen on an operational contract basis after their sponsor died.
The embassy succeeded in convincing him to grant the nurses final exit documents, said Aleem.
The nurses were later sent back to India.