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Far from the glitz of the Qatar World Cup a migrant worker’s family grieves

Kashiram Belbase left Nepal in order to provide for his family by helping to build Qatar’s infrastructure so that the World Cup could be held there.

Dhankala, his wife, recalled that “we needed to build a home, send our children to school, manage the family.”

“We didn’t have enough money to handle everything. He went because he couldn’t afford everything.

And where he died.


A father is absent from a village in Nepal, and a daughter and son are separated.

The 32-year old was part of the low-paid migrant workforce in Doha from the Indian subcontinent. He was working to build the metro transportation system when he was discovered dead.

Qataris attributed premature death to underlying causes. His wife believes that he suffered from respiratory failure as a result of working in harsh conditions in the desert country.

Learn more about Nepal

Sky News told her that she heard about the heart attack and “I thought it was possible, as it is extremely hot there.”

Anguish is exacerbated by unanswered questions regarding her husband’s death, and the inability to receive significant compensation from Qatar – basically just the wages he was owed.

Image This 32-year old had been involved in the construction of Doha’s metro transportation system

“Had we been still together, for instance, it wouldn’t have been difficult to me to fulfill our children’s requirements,” Dhankala weeps at the family home where her husband’s photograph hangs on the green wall.

“I believe they should have looked out for us, Qatar being a wealthy country. We received no support from them.

They only had to pay for the transportation of the body from Kathmandu.

In the weeks leading up to World Cup begins, European football federations including the English, Welsh and Welsh have been lobbying for a Qatari compensation funds.

A family is grieving far away from the glitter of Qatar. The hope is that the biggest stars in the world use their status to make an impression beyond the pitch.

Dhankala, 33 years old, says that they should appeal to the families of those who have lost their lives in the construction of the infrastructure as they play there.

“I wish they could help us and make an appeal. They could care for the family.”

Image In intense heat, final touches are being put in place to make Qatar World Cup-ready

Sky News was not able to reach government officials during their week-long visit to Qatar. The UN’s labor agency evaluates progress in improving workers’ rights and conditions.

Sky News’ Max Tunon, the head of the International Labour Organisation’s Doha branch, stated that “we do need stronger investigations, regardless of whether they’re labour investigations or health investigations to determine whether work could be a factor in worker’s deaths.”

Tunon acknowledges Qatar’s progress in raising standards since the country won the FIFA World Cup vote 2010.

With the introduction of a minimum salary and the efforts to end the Kafala system, which ties workers to their employers, the tournament leaves a lasting legacy.

He stated that there was greater labour mobility, greater freedoms and greater empowerment of workers.

“But, we also know there are enormous issues that still exist. The full implementation of Kafala reforms is still a challenge. Wage protection abuses continue to be too common. Domestic workers rights you know, there is new legislation protecting their working time and that right until the day off. But we often see non-compliance in those areas.”

Image With the tournament about to begin, it is time for football to push for change

The tournament opens on 20 November. This is a short window for football to make demands for change and ensure that workers are not more in need of their services in Qatar.

Tunon stated that he had been working to help football associations play a more active role in ensuring that workers are able to do their due diligence and engage with worker management committees at their hotels as well as with other contractors during the World Cup.

They need to speak to workers and talk to worker representatives at hotels to understand their actual challenges or issues. Maybe there are some challenges. Perhaps their success stories.

Image Qatar is making progress in raising standards but there are still ‘huge problems’

The lack of clarity about why so many workers such as Mr Belbase died young makes it difficult for this small nation to cope with the influx in hundreds of thousands of fans who will be attending 64 matches in just 29 days.

The final touches to make Qatar World Cup-ready are being done in the sweltering heat.

We can only hope that Qatar’s progress in labor rights will continue after FIFA leaves, and that there is no further unnecessary suffering.


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