After a four-month-long ordeal, a woman, worked as a housemaid in an Omani family in Muscat, finally reached her home in Bengaluru couple earlier this week. Rajeshwari, aged 45, is the repatriated woman, who hails from Dasenahalli, Hesaraghatta in Bengaluru.
After constant efforts of P A Hameed Padubidri, a pro-bono lawyer and social worker based in Saudi Arabia, she was able to be repatriated from Oman to India. The funeral rites of her husband, Ravi, who died two weeks ago while she was in Oman, was held immediately after her arrival as she paid her last homage. The body was embalmed in an ice box awaiting her arrival.
One year ago, a visa agent from Bengaluru sent her to Oman to work as a housemaid on visit visa. She didn't know nor was informed by the agent about the nature of the visa, which was valid for only 30 days unless renewed. She knew later that she was nicely duped by her agent.
Rajeshwari was hired by an Omani family from a Omani Recruitment office to whom she was sent by the Indian agent. She was working for the family since almost a year. The agent got huge amounts from the family owner for hiring her.
It's told that her over-work (for 18 hours/day) assigned by her Omani sponsor, less exposure to medical facility, aggravated asthma & above-all, her husband's health condition made her to plan of return to India before the contracted period; but it's not possible to leave the country as the violation of visa rules triggered a huge penalty. Also, the sponsor was not ready to leave her as he had paid a good lump sum of money to the agent. She was totally in a predicament.
Her relatives and Rajeshwari contacted Hameed Padubidri for the help. Upon their requests, he contacted the Indian Embassy in Oman, Oman Human Rights Commission & others at once for her immediate repatriation. He also tried to reach her sponsor & Omani agent several times over call in this regard, but they didn't answer the calls.
Finally, she managed to escape from the sponsor's home in the early morning by a taxi and reached the Indian Embassy situated around 160 Kms from her sponsors' house.
She was facilitated by the Embassy to stay in their repatriation center in Muscat. Meanwhile, the shocking news of her husband's death doubled her pains and tensions.
Hameed Padubidri was continuously pursuing her case with the Embassy & Omani HRC to expedite her repatriation process so that she could at least attend her husband's funeral rites. There were around 60 stranded women in the repatriation center.
The Omani HRC involved in this case. Meantime, the Embassy processed the waiver of the penality of around INR 1+lakhs imposed on her by the Oman authorities for the breach of the visa rules. Also the Embassy issued a travel document & ticket to Rajeshwari on priority basis to fly from Muscat to Bengaluru & she reached her home safely couple of days back & breathed a long sigh of relief.
Despite of full of sorrows & agonies, she didn't forget to express her heartfelt gratitude to Hameed Padubidri for his all-out supports and helps from the start to end. She said "at one point, I thought of committing suicide due to the predicament; the lawyer sir was the only solace for me during my difficult times, which I can't forget in my life...." She also thanked Indian Embassy, Oman HRC and others.