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Gulf dream turns sour for Hyderabadi woman

Hyderabad: In yet another instance of a Gulf job dream going sour, a 30-year-old Hyderabadi woman was cheated by her employer in Saudi Arabia, denying her the promised pay and living conditions. Adding insult to the injury, local police refused to take action against the agent who sent her to the Gulf country.

Anjum Fatima, a resident of Chanchalguda, left Hyderabad to work as a cook at Madina in Saudi Arabia four months ago. Her ordeal started from the time she landed in Saudi Arabia. Instead of her promised employment in Madina, she was packed off to Al-Qassim, a tribal area.

Fatima was promised 1,500 Riyals per month for the cook job in Madina by local agents. Even before she could reconcile to the fact that she landed in a wrong place, her employer informed the Hyderabadi that he would pay her only 800 Riyals.

“On learning about the terms of her employment (location and pay difference), my wife Fatima wanted to return home as she was cheated by the agents.

Immediately, she asked her employer to make arrangements for her return journey. Instead, the employer started torturing her. It is more than four months now and she was not being paid even her salary,” the victim’s husband, Quddus Zaida, a flower vendor at MJ Market, told TOI.

Quddus has been running from pillar to post for the past two months, knocking on the doors of police stations, politicians and other authorities seeking their help to ensure his wife returns safely to Hyderabad, but all his pleas fell on deaf ears.

After Fatima passed on information about her situation, Quddus spoke to three agents (Mobeen of Hyderabad, Salauddin and Sabeer of Mumbai), spent money on phone bills and shuttling between Hyderabad and Mumbai, but till date did not get any assurance from them. The agents reportedly told him that Fatima’s employer was demanding 5,000 Riyals to release her.

With days passing by and hope dimming, Quddus approached the Dabeerpura police. To his shock, they did not even acknowledge his complaint. “I met police last during the Ganesh festivities. They said they cannot help me since there was no agreement between Fatima and the parties concerned,” he said.

Through an acquaintance in Riyadh, the flower vendor passed on the information about his wife to the Indian Embassy. Even there, his hopes were dashed as the officials clarified that they can help Fatima return to India provided she reaches the embassy on her own (they cannot rescue her from her employer’s residence, where she is in virtual captivity).

The Dabeerpura police claimed Quddus approached them without specific details and documentary proof. “Without furnishing proof and proper details, how can we help him and against whom can we take action. In this case, he personally went to Mumbai and sent his wife to Saudi Arabia after negotiating with agents in Mumbai,” Dabeerpura inspector D Venkanna Naik told TOI.

Courtesy: TOI