Editorial: Gulf Fire Exposes Neglect

Editorial: Gulf Fire Exposes Neglect

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Thursday, June 13, 2024, 08:10 PM IST
article-image

The tragic fire in Kuwait that claimed the lives of 49 people, predominantly from India, especially Kerala, underscores the dire conditions faced by guest workers in the Gulf. This catastrophe, triggered by a gas cylinder explosion in a multi-storied residential building, resulted in a horrific loss of life, with victims either charred beyond recognition or succumbing to asphyxiation. Some desperate individuals even leaped from the building, only to meet their end from fatal injuries. This incident highlights a critical failure in safety measures. The building lacked both a proper evacuation plan and an adequate fire-fighting system. The absence of these basic safety features left everything to chance, resulting in a high casualty rate among sleeping residents.

Notably, there were no casualties among local residents. This starkly illustrates the substandard living conditions and inadequate safety provisions for the guest workers. For those familiar with the region, this tragic event is not an anomaly but a grim reminder of the ongoing exploitation of migrant labourers. Despite their substantial contributions to the Gulf's development — building skyscrapers, airports, seaports, and highways — these workers often endure deplorable living conditions. They reside in cramped, tin-roofed sheds with minimal amenities and face severe restrictions on their rights and freedoms. Protesting these conditions can result in deportation or imprisonment, leaving them powerless to demand better treatment.

The novel Goat Life by Benyamin, adapted into a film by Blessy, poignantly depicts the harrowing experiences of expatriates like Najeeb, mirroring the realities still prevalent today. The tragedy is a sombre testament to the unchanged plight of these workers. As the world mourns this senseless loss, it is necessary to advocate for improved living conditions and robust safety measures for the guest workers. The time for change is now, to prevent such tragedies from recurring and to honour the lives and sacrifices of those who build the future.

RECENT STORIES

Will The BJP Implode Due To Its Own Contradictions & Pressures?

Will The BJP Implode Due To Its Own Contradictions & Pressures?

Editorial: Avoid Standoff Over Educational Funds

Editorial: Avoid Standoff Over Educational Funds

Let’s Junk Planned Obsolescence For The Right To Repair

Let’s Junk Planned Obsolescence For The Right To Repair

India Needs To Stay Engaged With The New Government In Kathmandu

India Needs To Stay Engaged With The New Government In Kathmandu

Editorial: Puja Khedkar Casts A Shadow

Editorial: Puja Khedkar Casts A Shadow