More then 50 maids are expected to return India in kuwait
At slightest 50 Indian ladies, who had traveled to Kuwait attracted by job offers to work as housemaids, are currently holed up at the Indian embassy after remaining victimized by agents, expecting their repatriation to India.
Four ladies who had retreated Kuwait carried a press conference lately in Chennai, in which they described their sorrows.
M Amudha, G Rajeshwari, Vasantha Mani and Muthulakshmi, all from Tamil Nadu, were shown at the press conference organized by the National Domestic Workers Movement. The NDWM, which was established in Mumbai in 1985, has two lakh workers registered with it and is now spread across 17 states.
Vasantha Mani said, “I was promised a job as a tailor with Rs 40,000 as salary. But after I landed there the agent there said that there was no vacancy for a tailor and I had to work as a household maid.
“I agreed as I had no option. I was made to work in two houses, one in the daylight and another in the evening.
“I was doing two jobs and yet my pay was Rs 20,000 and not the guaranteed Rs 40,000. I worked for just 13 days and returned to the agent’s office in Kuwait.
“But he rejected to send me back. I was kept in his office for 45 days and eventually, I had to pay money to come back. There are many women in that office there tending to come back home.”
In several cases, when the servants leave their employer over unfavorable work conditions, the following files a police complaint with the police, which the ladies come to know of only when they reach the terminal. So the government has to first get the cases cleared before sending them back, which is why the women are being housed at the consulate.
Josephine Valarmathi, director of NDWM in Tamil Nadu, stated, “The women‘s relationships us when they could not get in touch with them kin in Kuwait. We delivered their petition to the Indian embassy there and we also informed Indian Frontliners, which is a service company working in Kuwait since 1997, of their situation.”
Valarmathy told us about an extra maid who paid the broker Rs 160,000 to return home, but after taking her money the agent left her outside the Indian embassy. “She is on her way back home,” Valarmathy announced, after the embassy‘s invasion.
As per the Indian Frontliners, there are several women currently housed in the Indian embassy expecting to be sent back. “Two families requested us and we now know that their relatives are safe in the Indian embassy,” Valarmathy stated.
Even though the NWDM primarily discusses issues concerning Indian household workers, they consequently got involved with operators going to the Gulf. “Between 2010 and 2015 the Protector of Emigrants told us to lead classes for maids and laborers who were going to the Middle East countries.
“We coached them about the schemes there, the safeguards that they should take and also who they should if there was any dilemma. At that time we gave them the number and location of the Indian embassy there and we also shared our items.
“So when they asked us, we had to respond and now it has become part of our normal work. Every year we get about 70 appeals from both men and women, with 98% are from the Middle East.”
The workers are repatriated with the help of the management.
“The biggest hindrance these women face there is that the agent takes away their identification and their mobile phone when they land there,” Valarmathy maintained.
“The problem is further aggravated now because of the e-immigration system. Now if you have studied up to the 10th standard you don’t have to visit the office of Protector of Immigrants, you implement online and you get the work permit. So they don’t know of any safeguards there and the agents exploit this insensitivity.”
Indian Frontliners generic secretary and social worker Keerani Venkatamathi said, “You cannot take any action against the representatives in Kuwait.
“That‘s because the license is in the name of a local who, after getting permission will put five up tables in his service and rent out each table to five different Indians. They pay rent to the local with the license.
“The maids we are dealing with were sold by a Tamil-speaking agent whose name will not appear in any record, so you cannot do anything legitimately toward him.
“There are several women remaining in the Indian embassy, and the embassy has also taken on rent another place where men are waiting to be repatriated. The government officers are very good and they work hard to help Indians hereabouts.”
Venkatamathi attached, “The problem is in India. The agents there tell these poor illiterate ladies that you don’t have to pay any money, you don’t have to pay for the record, everything is free and you will earn a very good wage there. They don’t know that the agents make good money from the employer in Kuwait and they don’t bother about working requirements.”
U S Sibi, second secretary (labor) in the Indian Embassy in Kuwait, said this reporter over the phone, “There are a little more than 50 women here remaining to go back.
“After they come to Kuwait they find they cannot control and so come to us. We are giving our most useful to help them.
“People should not come here outdoors knowing all the circumstances of their job and employer, and also should not consider brokers who paint a bright picture.”