Life was hell in Saudi Arabia, says rescued Punjabi woman Gurbaksh Kaur
Kaur says she was thrown out of the house after which the police arrested her as she was not carrying required documents.punjab Updated: Nov 04, 2017 20:39 IST
When 40-year-old Gurbaksh Kaur was offered to work in a factory in Malaysia with free accommodation and monthly salary of ₹20,000, she thought her dreams had come true.
The fate, however, had something else in store for her.
Speaking to HT after she returned from Saudi Arabia on Saturday, Gurbaksh recalls the difficult three months she says she had to face at the hands of her landlord and his 20-member family. “After being duped by the travel agent, I reached Saudi Arabia instead of Malaysia. I was living in hell there and only allowed to sleep after 2am after clearing all the mess. They didn’t even provide me food. I had to eat whatever was left on their plates,” she says.
Breaking down, she adds: “Even after working for over 20 hours in a day, I was assaulted by the family and sometimes even beaten with sticks.”
Kaur claims she was not allowed to go out and was thrown out of the house by the owner two-and-a-half month later, only to be arrested by the police as she was not carrying required documents.
“Police officers were cruel. There were eight other Bangladeshi girls, including a 15-year-old, and all were thrashed by the cops,” she says.
Appealing people to not send their daughters, sisters to such countries for the sake of money, Gurbaksh says, “Life is hell for women there.”
Speaking about her rescue, Gurbaksh says after she sent the video message, a Saudi Arabian family came forward to help her. “They bailed me out of jail and kept me at their house for two days. With help of the Indian embassy who booked my return ticket and some local Punjabi youth, I was able to return to India,” she says.
Thanking minister of external affairs Sushma Swaraj and chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh for her return, Gurbaksh appealed to the government to facilitate her daughter Reena Kaur’s return also.
“I was told by Delhi-based travel agent Neha that Reena had been sent to Saudi Arabia, but I am not sure. I had last seen her three months back in a Delhi hotel,” says an inconsolable Kaur.
Gurbaksh and her daughter of Rahon town in SBS Nagar were duped by travel agents in August this year. Both had reportedly planned to go to Malaysia, but the agent fraudulently sent them to Saudi Arabia, after charging ₹5 lakh, for which she claims to have sold her 10-marla land.
The matter came to light when Gurbaksh sent a video to her family, requesting to be rescued last week. In the video, Kaur revealed that they were in a miserable condition. Kaur’s family later sought help from the ministry in a separate video message.
Following media reports, chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh urged external minister Sushma Swaraj to help the duo. On Friday, minister also twitter that pursuant to efforts of @IndianEmbRiyadh Gurbux Kaur is reaching India today. “The daughter Reena will return soon,” Swaraj tweeted.