A 42-year-old widow, Jacintha, a native of Karkala’s life turned upside down in last ten months. The mother of three teenagers in the hope to find means of livelihood wanted to go to Qatar, but now she is trapped in a port city called, Yanbu in Saudi Arabia. However, the good news is that she is heading home soon due to the efforts of Human Rights Protection Foundation (HRPF) and Minister for External Affairs. 

 

The President of Human Rights Protection Foundation (HRPF), Dr Ravindranath Shanbhag, spoke to reporters on March 5 and shared the story of Jacintha. The mother was looking for a job to ensure that her children get a good education. Then she got in touch with a Mangaluru-based sub-agent who informed her of a housemaid’s job in Qatar wherein she will have to look after the children of an Indian expat and that the monthly salary will be ₹25,000.

 

Jacintha decided to take up the job, and in June 2016, she landed in Gulf. To her surprise, the driver who came to pick her up said that she is in Yanbu in Saudi Arabia and that she must work for more than 16 hours a day. With nowhere to go and nobody to help, she started working, and soon her health got adversely affected.

 

Then, in early December she managed to contact her children back in home after getting some help from Indian drivers working in the same city. She told her children about the whole incident and also that one she was hit on her head after which she lost conscious, and when she woke up, she saw stamp pad ink on thumb making her believe that her employers wrongfully took her thumb impression on some document. 

 

The teenagers then through some elected representatives contacted Indian embassy in Riyadh and also met the president of the HRPF. The organisation then traced Jacintha with the help of some Indians in Gulf, informed the Ministry of External Affairs and is working on bringing her back to India. 

 

Meanwhile, The Protector General of Emigrants (India) M C Luther and Consul General of Jeddah are in talks with Jacintha’s employer named Abdullah Almutairi who reportedly paid 24,000 Riyals (₹5 lakh) to an agent to buy her services. Now, he is saying that he will free her only after the money is refunded to him. 

 

The entire process was facilitated by a Mumbai-based recruiting agent named Shabha Khan who also took around ₹5 lakh from Jacintha too. The local police have already lodged a complaint against the agent who is absconding. 

 

The president of HRPF also said that PM Narendra Modi has also tweeted to them about Jacintha’s case and hopefully, she will return to India soon, a daily reported.