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Travel agents' victims tell their tales

punjab Updated: Aug 03, 2012 12:24 IST
Rajeev Bhaskar

A youth who was sold for 200 dinars to a third party in Kuwait by an unscrupulous travel agent from Punjab.

A Dalit girl who was sent to Singapore as a domestic help but was not paid the promised salary. And a woman who was stranded in Italy after her husband deserted her.

There's been no let up in the cases of people seeking greener pastures abroad and being cheated by agents in the process.

Former union minister BS Ramoowalia and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader, known for taking up causes of trapped Punjabi youths, presented several such victims on Thursday.

Dalbeer Singh, 20, resident of Bhammipura village in Ludhiana, revealed that he paid Rs 45,000 to a local woman agent, Kulwinder Kaur, who promised him work in Kuwait.

"I was sent to Kuwait, where another agent received me. He handed me over to a Kuwait national who runs a slaughter house," said. Dalbeer.

The Kuwaiti national later told Dalbeer that he had paid 200 dinars to buy him. "I informed my parents. They approached Ramoowalia who took up my case with the Indian embassy," Singh said.

Singh's ordeal lasted only a week, but Rajwant Kaur had to suffer for more than six years.

Narrating her tale, the 22-year-old revealed that a woman travel agent of Parmotta village sent her to Singapore as a domestic help.

"I was promised Rs 18,000 per month by a Punjabi family. I lived in Singapore for six years. But after a few months, I was paid only Rs 5,000. My employer took my passport as well," she said.

"I was even threatened. They said if I insisted on going back to India, I will be implicated in a case of theft," she said.

Hardeep Kaur of Sotal village (Mohali) said she was deserted by her Italy-based NRI husband.

Ramoowalia said all such issues, including matrimonial frauds by NRI grooms, would now be fought under the banner of Nanhi Chhaan, an NGO set up by Bhatinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal.