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Gulf ordeal: 5 more Punjab women return

Reach India with help of Rajya Sabha member Balbir Singh Seechewal

Gulf ordeal: 5 more Punjab women return

Two of the rescued victims with Rajya Sabha MP Balbir Seechewal.

Tribune News Service

Aparna Banerji

Jalandhar, September 23

For 21 days, Pritam Kaur (name changed) faced a harrowing time in Oman. She got only a little food, her salary was halved and medical treatment was almost non-existent. Only with the support of a local Good Samaritan, she was able to reach a gurdwara from where she along with four other women returned to India with the help of Rajya Sabha member Balbir Singh Seechewal.

Lured by travel agents with promises of hefty salaries in Muscat and Oman, the five women were instead subjected to long, arduous working hours with little salaries. They also claimed that they were beaten up.

The five women who have been brought back hail from Jalandhar, Ferozepur, Moga and Kapurthala districts.

Seechewal has facilitated the return of 15 women from Arab countries since August 23.

Seechewal said, “People need to be aware of the trap of travel agents. All this won’t stop until awareness spreads. Fifteen women have returned from Arab countries with the support of the Indian government and embassy officials. Of the 15, 13 have returned from Oman and two from Iraq.”

Asha (name changed), whose 50-year-old mother had gone to Oman eight months ago, said, “For a few months, my mother was fine. But the employers’ attitude changed dramatically after my mother, who had chronic joint pains, asked for medical help. The owners’ brother took her to a doctor a few times, but later they refused to do so citing she had no papers.”

She said after that her health worsened and treatment stopped. “When she said that she wanted to go back, she was refused food. For 21 days, she lived almost without food. Her agent in Oman who is a Hyderabad native, sought Rs 1.5 lakh from her to allow her to return. Eventually, she escaped.”

Another woman who went to Oman said despite paying Rs 1,60,000, her agents did not send her back. Instead, a false case was registered against her there, she said.

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#Balbir Singh Seechewal #Rajya Sabha

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