VELLORE: After undergoing a horrifying experience at Saudi Arabia for over four months, 55-year-old Kasthuri Munirathinam, a native of Mungileri village in Vellore district, is returning home on Saturday. She is returning with a permanent disability, allegedly due to an inhuman act of her employer in Riyadh.
Kasthuri’s employer allegedly chopped off her right arm when she tried to flee from the house in Riyadh in the first week of October. She was admitted to the Kingdom Hospital there.
Officials at the Indian Embassy in Riyadh and Secretariat (Tamil Nadu) informed the family members of Kasthuri that she would reach Chennai by 10.30 am on Saturday. From there, she would be shifted to the Government Hospital in Chennai for a medical check up.
“I received a call from the Indian Embassy (Riyadh) that my mother will reach Chennai on Saturday morning. Later, Tamil Nadu government officials said that they had arranged a vehicle to shift my mother to the government hospital,” said Kasthuri’s son M Mohan.
Against the wishes of her family members, Kasthuri had gone to Saudi Arabia on July 28 to work as a house maid for a monthly salary of about Rs 23,000 to bail her family out of debt.
She took the decision to do so after selling her house for Rs 12 lakh to settle a the debt partially. “We constructed the house in 2012. Unable to repay the loan, we sold it. Now, we are living in it as a tenant for monthly rent of Rs 1,500. This is our condition now,” said Mohan, adding that they were not in a position to give good medical care to their mother.
Kasthuri’s neighbour and friend Rani (45) said that she and many of their neighbours had gone to the main road, which was nearly 2 km from the village, to see their neighbour off to Dubai. They had never imagined then that such a cruel thing could happen to her.
Though Kasthuri’s long-time neighbour Krishnaveni and several others were eagerly waiting for her return. Her husband Munirathinam and son Mohan had tried to dissuade her from returning to India. They tried to persuade her to stay in Saudi until she felt better and was able to walk on her own.
“My mother has been scarred for life. She is desperate to return,” said Kasthuri’s oldest daughter Vanaja, fighting tears. She added that her mother has been supporting her family with her little earning as a farm hand. She appealed to the government to extend medical care to her mother for the rest of her life.