A Hyderabad Babanagar resident Salma Begum went to Saudi Arabia on a housemaid visa provided by agents Akram and Shafi in Hyderabad. She got the visa on January 21, this year.

Salma’s family including her daughter Sameena did not doubt agents intentions, and as the family was in need of financial help, Salma agreed to go to Saudi to work as a housemaid. But she had a shock of her life when she reached her destination.

Speaking to TOI, victim’s daughter Sameena has told that her mother sent an audio message and explained her condition. She told that her mother was allegedly sold for Rs 3 lakh to her employer by the agents. As soon as she landed in Saudi, the employer proposed a contract marriage to which Salma refused. She is being tortured from that day onwards. The Kafeel (employer or the sponsor does not want to send her back, told Sameena, speaking to the daily.

Sameena is trying in all possible ways to reach out to the government officials as her talks with agents Akram and Shafi have not yielded any result. Initially, they had promised to get Salma back by February, but no such steps are taken yet. Sameena even filed a case in this regard at the Kanchanbagh police station and told that even police have not taken any action in this regard.

Victim Salma in her message has requested the government to help her come back to India.

Who is Kafeel?

There is a Kafala system which is also called as sponsorship system, under which men and women (including housemaids) are taken to countries like Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE as a temporary migrant workforce.

Those who get a visa under this programme have to be validated by a company or an employer who is called a Kafeel, residing in that particular country. Thus the individual going there on sponsorship visa is at the mercy of the employer or the company.