Behind the beautiful façade of buildings, the hidden sorrow of migrant workers is worth telling. I live in one of that fancy building and I hail from the same South-Asian country. I looked through my window of their long-day toil in hostile environment. I started having discussions with several labors, visited their labor camps, analyzed their daily lifestyle, and monthly income. I thought of displaying to everyone about their humiliation in workplace, discrimination in the healthcare, tiring work in hostile atmosphere, and pathetic living condition. I visited Indian Embassy and discussed with under-secretary about this predicament. But my presentation fall on deaf ears. Then, I started contacting Journalism department of Northwestern University (Qatar Campus) for shooting this documentary. University agreed to help me by providing their students in covering this. This documentary will not address or challenge any political or governmental laws which Al Jazeera did already (22nd August, 2007). Instead, I’ll walk around with them right from dawn to dusk and cover their daily life.
Currently, I’m working with few volunteers to shoot this video in labor camps, and some agreed to help us in editing the video and other technical work. Total number of personnel is 5.
Who will this project benefit?
Through this project, I’d like to unveil the reality of unforgotten people. Through social networking sites we will make it visible to many organizations like ILO, Human Rights Watch, Migrant Rights etc. These organizations will put pressure on the senior officials of Gulf countries to protect the labors and follow the Decent Work Agenda (refer ILO). This mounting pressure will enable to reform current labor policies and improve the standard of living of Asian labors in GCC. Huge population will get benefitted if all works well. Objective of this documentary is to create awareness to masses and companies to act in humane way and provide the necessary rights.
What are the biggest challenges?
Discussions on Gender injustice, labor issues are not particularly entertained in public diaspora. Companies usually don’t allow shooting videos or interview labors about their work. It’s very hard to get permission to shoot in labor camps. Even if we get, we should conceal the identity of company, interviewee name. Even the labors will be reluctant to give us interview because of the fear of deportation. Convincing labors would be a big challenge. I’ve been in conversation with few labors who volunteered to give us an interview.
How will the donations benefit the project?
Though, we don’t have many expenses except the video coverage and editing the video. We will use the entire fund in making professional video and disseminate to various organizations.