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Plight of the domestic help in Saudi

Introduction
Plight of the domestic help in Saudi
  • There are approximately 2.4 million enslaved domestic workers from countries like Philippines, India, Sri Lanka and Nepal working in private households in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and other Gulf countries.
  • The workers are employed under the regional kafala system i.e. the assent of the "sponsor" family is needed before leaving employment.
  • According to Saudi law, domestic help cannot escape an 'abusive employer'.

Indian woman's hand chopped off in Saudi Arabia

8 Oct 2015
Indian woman's hand chopped off in Saudi Arabia
  • An Indian maid hailing from Tamil Nadu's Mungileri village was subjected to heinous violence in Saudi Arabia.
  • Her hand was severed by a Saudi woman who had employed the 56-year-old maid.
  • The Saudi woman cut the maid's hand off after the latter had put in a complaint that her owner's family ill-treated her with the Saudi officials.

Swaraj speaks about the Saudi monstrosity

Fact
Quote

Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted saying, "Chopping of hand of Indian lady - We are very much disturbed over the brutal manner in which Indian lady has been treated in Saudi Arabia."

Reason behind the heinous crime

8 Oct 2015
Reason behind the heinous crime
  • On 29 September 2015, Saudi officials had gone to the house where Kasthuri Munirathnam worked to make periodical enquires about "the well-being of house maids".
  • Kasthuri had brought to the notice of the authorities that "her employers were ill-treating her," and that she was over-burdened with work.
  • This complaint triggered the 'savage' attack on Kasthuri.

An independent probe on the Saudi sponsor too

9 Oct 2015
An independent probe on the Saudi sponsor too
  • The Saudi authorities arrested the woman responsible for committing the crime while taking Kasthuri to the hospital.
  • The Indian Ministry of External Affairs asked the Saudi government to carry out an independent probe in the episode and pushed that a case of "attempted murder" be fixed against the sponsor who should be punished as well if guilty.

Government to seek justice for Saudi victim

9 Oct 2015
Government to seek justice for Saudi victim
  • Vikas Swarup declared on behalf of the ministry of external affairs that the government would seek justice for Ms Kasturi Munirathinam whose hand was chopped off in Saudi Arabia.
  • He said that "This incident is deeply disturbing. The victim is currently stable,".
  • He further said that the matter would be taken up to the Saudi authorities and an explanation sought.