"My husband died when he was home for holidays"
Mohammad Salim's wife, Ruby Khatun, was happy that her husband had finally returned home. He had been away for several years. But the party in the village did not last long. The family was eating dinner when he complained of a sudden pain in his chest. - He was having difficulty breathing. Then he fainted. It happened so quickly, and he was dead. We were all in shock. Ruby Khatun describes the situation as desperate. - He wanted to work in Qatar for another two years. After that we talked about opening a small shop in the village so that we could afford to take proper care of our children while they were growing up.
Told to the journalistic platform Blankspot
Mohammad Salim’s wife, Ruby Khatun, was happy to finally have him home. He had been gone for several years and they were celebrating Edi, the end of Ramadan. It was a big family affair in the village, Gorkhali Tole, which is located in the Saptari District of Nepal.
“Everyone was finally together, father, my mother- and father-in-law,” she says. “Our children beamed with happiness, there was no end to our joy.”
But there was an end to the joy.
A week after Edi, the last part of Ramadan, Mohammad Salim booked his return ticket to Qatar and that’s when he started getting chest pains. It came from nowhere.
“I called my father-in-law and he came over right away, we sat next to him as his breathing got more and more labored. Then he passed out. And then he was dead. It went so fast, we were all in shock.”
The widow describes the situation as desperate. Her husband’s income supported the whole family.
“He wanted to work in Qatar for two more years so we could start a small store in our village, and afford to care well for our children.”
Mohammad worked hard for his employer in Qatar but the family did not receive any pay from them when he died.
“I think they owed him a good bit of money, but when our relatives who also work in Qatar, contacted them and asked, they were just told that the company didn’t have any obligations to pay anything, and that he had received everything he was eligible for.”
Ruby wishes that someone could help the family find out if that’s true.
“We have heard that we can get $5,753 from the Foreign Employment Board and we have filled out the forms but we haven’t received anything yet,” she says. “We also haven’t received any insurance money.”
Without external help, the widow’s financial future is grim.
“My father-in-law is a tailor and I help him when I can but it’s hard to earn money off that to support five children and two elderly relatives,” Ruby says. “Without our breadwinner, we are helpless. We don’t know anything, you are journalists can you help us?”