|Doctors who locked up and starved their maid- Sanjay and Sunita Verma|
Image Courtesy- TOI
In cities, it is really difficult to spot one of the tribe who is truthful. Good Lord would cross Himself hearing them speak 'truth' after 'truth'! And it would be real magic to see your provisions missing ounce by ounce;) But maids from rural areas who live with in the household is another sad story- some kind of bonded labor! People feel they have 'total control' when they have a maid at home. I have seen maids who sleep in the kitchen, who survive on paltry food and toil for meagre pay. Those advocates of women's empowerment and liberation- can they boast of not having the 'luxury' of a maid at home, sold by a poor family?
In another case, a domestic help from Thanjavur has been denied leave for, can you believe, 20 years in Saudi Arabia? Mumthas Begam from Thanjavur has been working in a Saudi household for almost 20 years and was last heard from 14 years ago. She has not been paid for 19 years and she is held against her will at her employer's house. Activists of NGO "Pleace India" ( Pravasi Legal Aid Cell) are trying to rescue her. So far, our Government has been silent on the issue. Mumthas has lost all her near kith and kin in these 20 years- her father, mother and brother in the two decades. She is now 45! I am left with no words, but just to feel numb with pain and grief for the poor woman.
I do sincerely wish the Indian Government takes some serious steps in bringing her back. Maids missing and killed in Saudi Arabia is a much hush hushed news, with Indonesian and Srilankan Governments having strong organisations to deal with such issues. Sadly, the Indian Government is yet to wake up and act. Should there not be a legal assistance from the Government to help such stuck maids abroad? An organisation, perhaps? Please see my earlier post on maids in Saudi Arabia here. Maids are indeed maids, indispensable these days. But they do have a right to live- a basic right to survive with dignity. Of course, i am writing to Arab press to free the poor woman, but who would take up the issue here in India? TOI had published the issue, but i can find no online link to it to link here.
Let us live and let the maids too, live with dignity.