UDUPI: A woman from Karkala who was stranded in Saudi Arabia for the last 15 months was finally rescued on Friday.
Ravindranath Shanbhag, president of the Human Right Protection Foundation (HRPF) of Udupi, and NRI associations in Jeddah succeeded in having the 42-year-old woman, Jacinta, released from her employer Abdul Almutairy in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia.
Jacinta was a victim of human trafficking. After the demise of her husband, she contacted an agent, James, who claimed to represent a Mumbai-based foreign recruitmen agency. She was directed to one Shabhakhan in Mumbai. Both promised to help her to get a job as a governess for an Indian family in Qatar.
As they did not collect a fee for the passport and visa, Jacinta believed them and traveled to the Middle East on June 19, 2016. There she found that she had to look after the 10 children of a Saudi employer, putting in 16-hour days. Her health deteriorated and her pleas fell on deaf ears. She was physically assaulted by her employer.
According to Jacinta's employer Abdul Almutairy, the agents who sent her to Soudi Arabia had taken 24,000 Saudi Riyals from him. He argued that he would send Jacinta back to India if they returned his money.
When HRPF informed this to M C Luther, the Protector General of Immigrants, he ordered an enquiry. HRPF even approached Sushma Swaraj on this issue.
Ravindranath Shanbhag told New Indian Express on Saturday that NRI associations in Saudi Arabia raised Rs 4.5 lakh to be paid to her employer.
"We were able to bring Jacinta back to India on Friday evening via Mumbai. She has been admitted in a hospital in Udupi for a medical check up. She is stable,'' Shanbhag said.