Jeddah : Abused Indian Maids’ Saga Comes to an End

The second of two abused Indian maids, Fathima Bebe, left for India on Wednesday in what seems is the final chapter of their sad story.

The first maid, Aisha Sultana, left the Kingdom about a month ago after her sponsor returned her passport and gave her immigration clearance. Bebe, however, was left in the Kingdom as her sponsorship had been transferred, without her knowledge, to the boss of a labor placement agency where the two women had been sent.

The maids had been ill-treated in Riyadh since their arrival from India several months ago. Sultana was starved for an entire month, and both were sent to the labor agency to work in different households without pay.

According to a complaint the women filed at the Consulate General of India, the labor agency boss physically abused Bebe and tried to force Sultana into the sex trade.

Bebe was finally rescued after the Foreign Ministry intervened on the request of the Indian Consulate. “It was very hard to get hold of Bebe’s passport, especially in such a small period of time,” said Labor Consul K.K. Vijayan.

“The sponsor was detained by the Passport Department and asked to return Bebe’s passport and give her immigration clearance,” said Vice Consul Sitaram Mina.

Bebe, though overwhelmed with happiness, was upset she was unable to go for Umrah before leaving the Kingdom.

“I thank Almighty Allah for sending Arab News to help me. If it wasn’t for the support I received from Arab News, my case would not have received so much attention. People wouldn’t have come forward to help me,” said Bebe.

“I am so happy that I got the chance to help these women and do this good deed. I also want to thank Arab News for bringing such cases to light. If we hadn’t read about it we wouldn’t have known,” said Sarfaraz Khan, vice president of the Hyderabad Cricket League, which gave the maids financial support and air tickets to return to India.

“I also want to thank my friend and HCL founder Siraj Ansari who also helped a lot along with my other friends and brothers,” added Khan.

Bebe was unable to go for Umrah as she was only given her passport at the airport. “We didn’t want to take any risks for her safety; we wanted her to go home safely,” said Vijayan.

“If she took the passport and went to Makkah alone and something happened, or if she got kidnapped as there is a shortage of maids, who would take responsibility? That’s why we didn’t give her the passport for her own safety. We wanted her escorted safely to the airport,” he added.


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Comment on this article

  • Ummerkunhi, Perinje/Dubai

    Tue, Jan 19 2010

    Well done Mr.Sarfaraz Khan & Mr.Siraj Ansari of HCL,Mr.K.K. Vijayan of CGI.I fully agree on Fathima's comments.there is lots of incidents like above unreported to public in Saudi Arbia.

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  • Vicky Chopra, Udipi/New Delhi

    Mon, Jan 18 2010

    Where are all of our expert commentators.. may be behind bajrang dal/ramsene???...may be still running..

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  • Mansour, india

    Mon, Jan 18 2010

    Fathima you are right..........

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • fathima, mangalore

    Mon, Jan 18 2010

    Saudi Arabia should have been the role model to the world for Women rights and equality. In reality, now SaudiArabia is on top as abuser of Women Rights in the world. Sad indeed!!

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