Photo: Indian housemaid laid to rest in Al Khobar

By Irfan Mohammed

Jeddah: The body of a poor woman of Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh who was working as a housemaid in Saudi Arabia has finally buried.

Her last rites were performed as the family declined to receive the body due to financial and other social reasons. Later, it was found that the deceased had adopted Islam.

47-years old Kondru Raji, a native of the Kadapa district and mother of two daughters who had lost her husband long ago, was working as a housemaid in the Eastern province in Saudi Arabia where she breathed her last on January 21.

Raji’s health was deteriorating, she was brought to the emergency ward of a hospital in Al Khobar and was leftover there on January 21, within hours she died due to cardiac arrest.

Her family back home has expressed their unwillingness to receive the mortal remains of late Raji as both of her daughters – divorcee and widow – were living separately in rented houses where house owners do not allow to have any sort of funeral rites for dead persons in their properties.

Without any source of income, her both daughters were concerned for the cost of bringing the dead body of their mother from Airport also one of the reasons behind their unacceptance.

A prominent Indian community social worker Nass Shoukat offered to meet the cost of transportation from the airport, cremation, and funeral rites in Kadapa as per Hindu tradition, yet the family was not in the mood to receive the dead body.

“When I was almost to prepare burial for her in Non-Muslim tradition, the family of sponsor had told me that Raji was practicing Islam”, revealed Nass. Based on that he had decided to accord her last rites as per Islamic tradition.

“Raji was buried in Al Khobar as per Islamic values after Friday prayers”, added Nass Shoukat.

The desperate mother amidst poverty was worried about the expenses of marrying off her two daughters, like many other poverty-stricken Telugu women she chose to work in Saudi Arabia as housemaid.

Raji was able to perform the marriage of her two daughters while working in Al Khobar. Her elder son-in-law divorced his wife and her younger son in law went to Kuwait to work as labourer with help from her mother in-law but later ended his life from returning from Kuwait.

Raji was diagnosed with breast cancer, like most women she also came to know about it in an advanced stage, she traveled to India in 2018 for her maiden vacation. Also, she had treatment in India where her right breast was removed, according to family sources. Doctors advised her to have rest and medication in India but against their advice, she decided to return to Saudi Arabia for the continuation of the job to earn money.

Raji absconded from her sponsor and was working illegally with others for the last few years and her health was deteriorating.

Her dead body was lying and with the help of police and the Indian Embassy in Riyadh, Nass Shoukat was able to trace the family details of the deceased woman and contacted them in India.

The family expressed their unwillingness to receive the mortal remains of late Raji as both of her daughters were living separately in rented houses where house owners do not allow to have any sort of funeral rites for dead persons in their properties.

There are often such cases that Indian mothers mostly illiterate housemaids, often widows or divorcees, hailing from Andhra Pradesh remain to stay and work in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries against all odds with only aim to secure a bright future for their children back home in India.

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