Advertisement

HindustanTimes Sun,23 Nov 2014

US healthcare costly, Devyani warned maid not to get sick

Rahul Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 11, 2014
First Published: 00:54 IST(11/1/2014) | Last Updated: 00:56 IST(11/1/2014)

India’s deputy consul general in New York, Devyani Khobragade, had warned her maid not to “get sick” as treatment in the United States was expensive, the diplomat’s indictment report has alleged.

The maid, Sangeeta Richard, was made to work even when she was unwell, states the 20-page report prepared by US attorney Preet Bharara. The domestic worker’s employment contract entitled her to seven days of sick leave, but Khobragade allegedly denied that benefit to Richard, a serious violation of US laws.

“I never thought that things would get so bad here, that I would work so much that I did not have time to sleep or eat or have time to myself,” Sangeeta said Friday in her first public statement, released by anti-trafficking group Safe Horizon. The group is representing her in the case against Khobragade. She also asked other domestic workers not to let anyone exploit them.

Neither did the diplomat give her any paid “holidays” and “vacation days” as laid down in the contract.Before the maid was hired, a relative of Khobragade had told her that she would be required to work Monday through Friday from 7 am to12.30 pm and from 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm, amounting to 7.5 hours per day. She was also assured that she would not have to work overtime.

However, the maid was made to work 15 to 18 hours daily, translating into 94 hours to 109 hours per week --- with limited breaks for meals or personal calls, the report alleges. The maid had sought to quit the job as she was unhappy with her “low salary, long hours and harsh work conditions,” but the diplomat, who was holding the maid’s passport, rejected her requests to end the employment.

The report also says the figure of $4,500 entered by Khobragade “for monthly income” did not match any actual income figure — neither the maid’s nor the diplomat’s.


Advertisement
more from India

Air India expresses inability to upgrade seats, carry more free baggage of MPs

Cash-strapped Air India hasexpressed inability to upgrade seats of MPs to business class or carry their extra baggage for free, especially in flights which have all upper class seats booked by paid passengers.
Advertisement
Most Popular
Advertisement
Advertisement
Copyright © 2014 HT Media Limited. All Rights Reserved