Hyderabad: Nasreen Begum, an aspiring beautician who was lured to Muscat, Oman under the false pretences of favourable economic prospects instead ended up working as a housemaid and toiled for 15-18 hours.
She recently escaped from the clutches of a recruitment agency and made her way to the Indian Embassy. Currently, she is being housed in a shelter home by the Indian authorities.
In a letter addressed to External Affairs Minister, Dr. Subramanyam Jaishankar, Nasreen Begum’s mother Bibi Fatima appealed for the safety of her daughter.
As per Bibi Fatima, Nasreen Begum, was offered a decent-paying job as a beautician by local agents of Hafez Baba Nagar and Kishen Bagh who learned that she sought employment, said Bibi Fatima.
The agent allegedly promised her that she would be taken to Muscat on a visit visa and that she could return to India if she did not like her job. “She was also promised a good salary with food and accommodation,” Fatima informed.
Upon travelling to Muscat, she was handed over to Shumukh Mascat Al-Raida, a Manpower Consultancy, that allegedly sent her to work as a maid in different houses. Although when she objected to working as a housemaid, she was threatened and beaten up.
A similar incident was reported by The New Indian Express in 2019 where Shaheen, a 21-year old Hyderabadi woman, was cheated by the same recruitment company who demanded Rs. two lakhs for her release.
With no option left, Nasreen Begum agreed to work as a housemaid and was sent to work in a house where she slogged for two months. Thereafter, she was sent to another house for a shorter duration.
“A minimum of 15 to 18 hours of daily work was demanded of her without proper food and accommodation. She then fell ill and returned to the recruitment office,” Fatima, stated.
Her release by Shumukh Muscat Al Radia’s was conditional upon her ability to pay Rs. two lakhs. However, being from a lower-middle-class family, paying this amount is an uphill task. That too, for three months worth of salary was already taken by the recruitment office.
The concerned mother added, “Due to the unbearable torture, my daughter ran away and approached the Indian Embassy in Muscat who arranged a shelter home for her.