Stories

Getting Back Up on His Feet

Hossain is a 35 year-old migrant worker from Faridganj, Bangladesh. Before he came to Singapore, he worked in an insurance company for 12 years and studied until secondary school. He has an 8 year-old daughter and a 4 year-old son, and has been married to his wife for 9 years. 

Hossain took a bank loan and paid $8000 to come to Singapore. Verbally, he was told that he would be paid $800 a month, with $145 to cover his medical bills. On paper, he did not understand the terms of the 3-year contract but trusted the people whom he was dealing with. However, upon coming to Singapore, his received his paycheck of $146 a month — with earnings of $0.76 an hour. He would work from 5am-7pm every day. He mentions that 6 other migrant workers also received the same treatment. 

In December 2017, he collapsed after carrying ventilating machinery and injured his back badly. Even then, the engineer that he was working under did not allow him to stop working, assuming that Hossain was merely dramatising the severity of it and threatened to send him back to Bangladesh if he continued to seek medical attention. He will be going for physiotherapy as of September 2018. With MOM’s approval, he hopes to return to Bangladesh to recover from his injury and return to his family, whom he is very close to.

Hossain likes the weather and food in Singapore, particularly the chapati here. He has been receiving help from HealthServe since August 2018. He feels that he has received good service, from providing meals during the Desker Food Project, MRT Top-up, and also casework assistance. He appreciates the support that everyone at the Desker office has given him. 

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