ABU DHABI // More than Dh7 million was paid out last year to Bangladeshi families who lost their breadwinners in the UAE, but the wait for blood money can be a lengthy process.
According to the Bangladesh embassy, the UAE courts released more than 150 million Bangladeshi taka (Dh7.5 million) in blood money to the families of 40 people who died in the UAE. In 2014, the families of 24 victims were awarded more than Dh3m compensation.
Much of the payouts received by the embassy last year were for families of the 16 victims of the 2013 Al Ain bus crash, which left 21 workers dead, of whom 19 were Bangladeshi.
Mohamed Nizam Dullah, whose brother-in-law Sirajul Islam died in the accident, said his family received their payout last year.
“My brother lost his life due to the mistakes of others,” Mr Dullah said. Mr Dullah said such accidents, and those on building sites, could be prevented if rules were adhered to.
“Very frequently, bus drivers use mobile phones without earphones – a dangerous act to do behind the wheel.”
He said it was the duty of supervisors to ensure safety standards at work sites.
“Sometimes foremen fail to check if everybody is wearing the safety equipment on construction sites,” he said.
“I am a welder, I ask others to wear glasses while working but some people deliberately ignore this. Workers must also obey safety instructions.”
The embassy has hired more staff to help with the court process and speed up disbursal of compensation.
Arman Ullah Chowdhury, labour counsellor at the embassy, thanked the Government for its “absolutely generous gesture”.
He said the compensation received here was far greater than what families would have received back home. “That is never going to match whatever they receive in the UAE.”
Mr Chowdhury said more than 60 compensation claims were being followed up by the embassy and the UAE courts.
Many of the cases had been pending for a few years because of a lack of documentation.
“We have almost finished all the backlogs up to 2011,” Mr Chowdhury said.
A 17-year-old college student, who lost his father in a Dubai road accident, said no compensation could make up for loss of life.“Nothing can compensate for the problems my family is -going through,” Mr Kumar said.