BENGALURU: Sabiha would perhaps have been still languishing as an unpaid housemaid, subjected to beatings and emotional and mental abuse, at the home of Sa’ad Al-Anaizi in Al-Quratath, a city in the northern part of Saudi Arabia bordering Jordan if it were not for the consistent efforts of an Udupi native who migrated to the country 24 years ago. P A Hameed Padubidri, who works for a defence company in Riyadh and also does legal work and social service, ensured she was saved from the clutches of her tormentor.
Sabiha’s older son Waseem, who runs a fruit business in Tumakuru, told TNIE, “We could not get a direct flight to Bengaluru for my mother. So, a group which helped my mother, booked a ticket for her up to Kochi and I am on way to drive her back to my house. She touched Indian shores at 5.30 pm on Thursday. That is the biggest relief for of us all at home.”
Waseem is upset with his brother Saleem in Yelahanka who let her leave for Saudi Arabia without keeping him in the loop. “I will take her back to Tumakuru, where my ailing father stays with me. I was kept completely in the dark about her departure,” he lamented.
Hameed, who helped rescue another woman, Fairoza, last month, alleged, “Sa’ad Al-Anaizi is running a big racket, bringing women from different parts of India on visit visas, which have only a 90-day validity, and sending them as housemaids to families in Saudi Arabia. He gets anywhere between 2,500 to 3,000 Riyals from each family and pays the maids 1,000 or 1,200 Riyals a month. Even that is not paid regularly. Sabiha was an extreme case in which she was not paid for nine months and worked in his house tending to six members of his family.”
After learning about her plight from the woman who was rescued last month, Hameed made consistent efforts to rescue her. “The sponsor has been fined 30,000 Riyals for violating visa rules of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” he added.
“When the employer found out about her interactions with me, he twisted her arm and snatched her mobile phone and locked her in a room without giving her food for three days. Through other contacts, I was able to arrange food for her on the fourth day. He finally agreed to send her back to India... “I requested the Consulate General of India in Jeddah to help her. The authorities there completed all the formalities and she has been allowed to leave for India on July 22,” Hameed said.