Kendrapara, January 11 (Localwire): Basanti Mallick (53) of Bachara village within the Pattamundai block in Kendrapara district is a worried woman and these days she and other family members are glued to the TV, to get more news on the latest situation in Iraq and Iran.
Every time there is news about the disturbance in Iraq, her heart sinks in fear and anxiety, worrying for husband Golakh Mallick (55) who has been working as a plumber with a construction company in Baghdad for last five years.
“We are worried about the recent development in Iraq.
We do not know the reason behind the problem, but many people have told me that there is a war-like situation in Iraq. Our mobile phone is the main link with my husband.
I talked with him on Saturday and he stated that the situation in Iraq is grave but he along with other workers of Halo International Construction Company is safe. Now, we are praying for his safety in Iraq,” Basanti said.
Talking to LocalWire from Baghdad, Golakh confirmed that though the situation in Iraq was tense, he was safe.
“We are staying near the Green Zone of Baghdad, which is heavily fortified and in the center of the Iraqi capital that served as the headquarters of successive Iraqi regimes.
We are hearing blasts and sirens in the Iraqi capital. Recently, a large number of protesters attacked the United States Embassy in Baghdad near the green zone which really frightened us,” he said.
Golakh also urged LocalWire to publish his mobile number 00-96-47827854186 to draw the attention of the Indian authorities.
Similarly, 62-year old Sadashiva Rout of Madanapur village and 64-year old Sakil Khan of Gogua village are also a worried lot.
While Sadashiva’s son Bhaskar works as a plumber in Najaf city, Sakil’s son Kayum is working as a mechanic in a motor garage in Tehran.
Basanti, Sadashiva and Sakil are not alone in these moments of tension and despair.
According to Babaji Parida, a trade union leader from Pattamundei, there are over 200 persons from Kendrapada district are working in Iraq and Iran, many of them as plumbers and the unrest there has brought about the fear of social and economic insecurity to the families in Pattamundai, Mahakalapada and Rajnagar blocks of the district.
When contacted Kendrapara district labour officer (DLO) Ramachandra Nayak said that though many people from Kendrapada area work in many countries, and the government has set up a toll-free number 18003456703 for overseas workers to seek help from the government, they have so far received any information or request from people working in Iran and Iraq.
“We have not received any information about the plight of the workers of the district in Iran and Iraq. We will help them once we get information from them or their relatives,” he said.