Freedom finally for City woman trapped in Saudi

After two years of abuse, torture and jail time, 45-year-old Nafeeza Begum from Rajeev Nagar, Bangalore, will be returning to India, from Saudi Arabia, thanks to the efforts of local Indians in the Gulf nation.

Begum, left for Saudi Arabia, in December 2010, following the death of her husband, leaving behind her children with their grandparents. Since she could not get the job of a beautician, she worked as housemaid, shifting from one home to another, allegedly under extremely harsh conditions.

“Six months later, she landed a job as beautician with a couple - Ibrahim and Nura - and helped them run their beauty parlour for nine months, during which period she was allegedly beaten, tortured and abused,” claimed Ajith, member of Navayugan Samskarikavedi, a welfare organisation, which intervened on her behalf.

According to Ajith, Begum had claimed that she was paid only for five months and when asked for the rest of salary, she was beaten and abused by her employers. Finally, unable to tolerate the abuse, she fled from her sponsor’s home, seeking the help of a Filipino who escorted her to the police station. But to Begum’s misfortune, her sponsor and employer, Ibrahim had already filed a counter-complaint alleging that she had attacked his wife at their home. She was arrested and sentenced to jail for 45 days. After her jail term, Begum was moved to Dammam female deportation centre where she spent close to three months.

Meanwhile, the welfare organisation made efforts to rescue Begum who was without her passport and other belongings, as her employer refused to return them. With no money for a ticket home, nor passport, the organisation claimed, Begum had become a mental wreck, turning violent at the deportation centre.
Sensing her situation, the Dammam deportation centre too petitioned for her early release.

“I and my wife Safi Ajith approached the Indian Embassy and got a exit pass for Begum,” said Ajith, but she was still stranded till the Tamil Nadu Welfare Association bought Begum the ticket home. Friday, the festive occasion of Id-Milad, should see Begum arrive in Mumbai before flying to Bangalore for a happy family reunion.

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