2012 Arab News
2012-04-14 Jailed sponsor pays SR70,000 in back wages for Indian maid
Published: Apr 14, 2012 01:12 Updated: Apr 14, 2012 01:12

A Saudi sponsor paid SR70,000 in salary dues to an Indian maid who was in a virtual jail for two decades, the Indian Embassy said yesterday. Mumtaz Begum,45, of Anna Nagar in Tanjore district of Tamil Nadu, came to the Kingdom 20 years ago to support her family. The Saudi sponsor gave her salary only during the first 12 months of her stay in the Kingdom. She did not get a single riyal for the 19 years she spent in the household looking after her sponsors 20 children born to his two wives.

Mohammed M. Aleem, information and labor welfare officer of the Indian Embassy, told Arab News that the mission started taking action on Begums matter following a complaint sent by a Muslim organization in Tamil Nadu. Pleace India-Pravasi Indian Aid Cell, an Indian social service organization based in Riyadh, also brought this matter to the notice of Indian Ambassador Hamid Ali Rao at the open forum organized by the mission in February this year. Pleace India also took up the matter with the Saudi Human Rights Commission, which raised the issue with the governorate in Hail.

The diplomat said the mission took up the case with the Hail governorate and the respective police station in the region. Lt. Col. Basheer Ahmed Al-Anzi from the Hail police station took a special interest in locating the sponsor and through determined efforts took him into custody, Aleem said, adding that such cooperation from the security authorities made the task of the mission easier.
During her stay in the Kingdom, Begum lost her father Saliya Sahab, her mother Naveera Bibi and finally her brother Sheikh Dawood. It was reported that every time a death occurred, Begum complained to the nearest police station and her sponsor readily agreed to send her back home with her salary dues, but he never complied with the police directives. Aleem said Begums plight saddened the Indian expatriate community in the Kingdom and the people of Tamil Nadu.

The sponsor has not obtained her an iqama and he had never thought of sending her back home, Aleem said, adding that the jailed sponsor had paid SR70,000 to the police station in Hail. However, the diplomat said the sponsor has to incur additional expenses in penalty for not renewing her resident status for 19 years. The embassy official said the mission hopes to complete all these formalities in a week and Begum would be repatriated home to see her surviving relatives. Begum is not married.

According to sources, the womans only known living relative is her sister-in-law, Sithy Sadira, who lives in Ramnathapuram in Tamil Nadu.

2012 Arab News
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