Hundreds of nurses from Kerala have chosen to stay in Yemen despite the ongoing civil war. They have chosen to stay back for lucrative jobs in spite of the threat, than return to safety and financial ruin.
Most of the nurses staying back in Yemen have done so in order to pay back the hefty loans they have taken back home. The inadequate salaries of health care professionals in India forces hundreds of men and women to move abroad in order to match daily expenses and pay off tuition fees.
A prestigious hospital in Delhi pays nearly 25,000 rupees or $400 per month to its nurses, this barely covers their accommodation and food expenses leaving nothing for savings. In Yemen a nurse with lesser experience can earn a little over 37,000 per month, or $600, with free accommodation. Thus giving her the ability to send money home to pay off debts.
Illegal, exorbitant recruitment fee
In order to get well paid jobs abroad many nurses flock to private recruitment agencies that charge exorbitant fees, some coming close to Rs 2 lakh. These agencies ensure high salaries and safe contracts but often end up breaking their promises.
Earlier this week the CBI (Criminal Bureau of Investigation) raided one of these agencies and found evidence of corruption, cheating and fraud. The agency had recruited up to 1200 nurses and charged them an upfront fee of Rs. 19.5 lakh — 100 times the legal amount.
The Indian government has managed to retrieve 349 Indians from Aden where Shi’ite Houthi’s have stormed the presidential palace. They have also air lifted 80 persons from the capital Sanaa, however, are unable to rescue more until Saudi Arabia which has air supremacy over Yemen provides a safe corridor.