Patkuri Basanth Reddy
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Contribution in repatriation of migrant workers in the Gulf
Patkuri Basanth Reddy has helped in repatriation of 300 migrant workers languishing in the Gulf
He is seen by many as messiah of Gulf victims as he has supported them through thick and thin (2012-17), spending his hard-earned money. His tireless efforts and coordination with State and Central Governments brought home about 50 bodies of migrant workers, and 300 migrant workers have been successfully repatriated home.
Born into an agriculture family at model village Manoharabad of Jakranpally mandal, Patkuri Basanth Reddy went to Bahrain as a construction worker after completion of SSC and had lived there for several years. During his stay, he had witnessed labourers being cheated by Gulf agents.
Moved by the plight of Gulf workers, he came back to Hyderabad and established Gulf Telangana Welfare and Cultural Association. Recognising his efforts for the cause of Gulf victims, the Telangana Government honoured him with the best social worker award, which he received from Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao at Golkonda Fort on August 15.
That apart, he has several awards to his credit for his social work. He had Dr. B. R Ambedkar Vishista Seva Puraskar conferred on him in 2016, Prof. Jayashankar National Award in 2015. He has been selected for Mahatma Jyothiba Phule Award, and he will receive it from Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan in New Delhi on December 10.
According to Basanth Reddy, there are over 6 lakh migrant workers from Telangana in the Gulf. An estimated two lakh workers are from erstwhile undivided district alone. Many workers who went there in search of work on fake or kalivili (in local parlance) visas created by Gulf agents are languishing in jails in Gulf countries.
He says thousands of poor workers who went there, by taking money from moneylenders at a high rate of interest, are living in distress on streets. As they are uncared for by their employers, some are committing suicide and some are dying.
With the help of the External Affairs Ministry and Telangana Minister K.T. Rama Rao, he ensured safe landing in New Delhi of 30 migrant workers who were stranded in Iraq in November 2017.