AP’s NRI affairs minister Palle Raghunatha Reddy brought the plight of the women stuck in Saudi workplaces to the notice of the external affairs minister and sought her immediate intervention to get them released.

 

According to Reddy, a network of agents has penetrated far and wide in Telugu states to woo women from poor families with jobs in the Gulf countries. He said a network of illegal agents is active in Kadapa, Kakinada, Rajahmundry, Visakhapatnam of Andhra Pradesh and Nizamabad of Telangana.

 

“The brokers are taking the women from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to Gulf countries on the pretext of providing employment. They are selling women like products in retail shops.

 

“Women are being sold to the tune of ₹4 lakh per head in Saudi Arabia and ₹1 lakh to ₹2 lakh in Bahrain and UAE and Kuwait. Unable to bear harassment from Arabs, many women have escaped from their clutches.

 

“The Arabs are filing cases against the escaped women and sending them to the jail and are being imprisoned for long periods. Nearly 25 women victims have been jailed by them,” the minister said in his letter.

 

Read more: Mystery of Indian maid's death in Saudi deepens

 

Reddy also expressed displeasure that, despite having full knowledge of phone numbers and the whereabouts of mediators, the MEA officials in Delhi were not taking any action against these illegal agents.

 

“The victims are not in a position to make even a telephone call to their family members. The plight of Parveen (Bandlaguda, Hyderabad) and Chanee Gagloth Naik (Ellareddiguda, Nizamabad District), who succeeded in reaching out to the officials to pour out their grief, bear testimony to the pathetic conditions the women are living in, “ he said in the letter.

 

He urged Sushma Swaraj to direct the Indian Embassy officials in the Gulf countries to plunge into action immediately and provide food, clothing and shelter and make arrangements to get them back to their native places.

In the meantime, another woman from Hyderabad sent an SOS to the Telangana government to rescue her from the clutches of her employer.

 

Husna Begum, a maid working in Saudi Arabia, sent a video, narrating how he was illegally confined by her employer at Haffar Al Batain, a place 480 km from Damam. Husna Begum (passport number N5986600) made an appeal to the Central and Telangana governments for immediate intervention to get her released from her employer.

 

Husna alleges that her employer is not allowing her to leave the place. With dreams of a decent job shattered, Husna is desperate to come back home.