11 Punjabi women stuck in Iraq seek help to reach India

Complain of exploitation and appeal to Sangrur AAP MP Bhagwant Mann, who contacted the Baghdad embassy that has rescued them
A still from the video of the women appealing for help in Erbil town of Iraq. Sangrur Aam Aadmi Party MP Bhagwant Mann shared the video on social media.
A still from the video of the women appealing for help in Erbil town of Iraq. Sangrur Aam Aadmi Party MP Bhagwant Mann shared the video on social media.
Published on Jun 25, 2021 05:44 PM IST
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ByAvtar Singh

Eleven Punjabi women, who had gone to Iraq in search of work, have alleged economic exploitation and sought help to return to India.

The women, one of who belongs to Sangrur district, shared a video with Sangrur Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP Bhagwant Mann on June 23, saying their employers had kept their passports and urged him to facilitate their return.

Also read: Patients left high and dry as doctors go on strike in Punjab

Mann said that the women were stuck in Erbil city of Iraq and he had talked to the officials concerned at the Indian Embassy in Baghdad, who had traced the women.

“I received a video from the women two days ago and sent it to the ministry of external affairs on Thursday evening. I met officials of the ministry on Friday and submitted all documents that I got from the women’s families. The officials arranged my phone call with the Indian embassy in Baghdad. Though the women don’t have their passports, the Indian embassy will take them into custody and they will be back in India in a couple of days,” Mann said.

Apart from the one from Sangrur district, the rest of the victims are from Hoshiarpur and Jalandhar districts.

In the video, the women can be seen sharing their plight with faces covered. They said they had gone to Iraq for jobs as helps in households and companies but their passports were taken away and they were not given food and adequate rest.

“We faced exploitation in households and from company owners. We had problems of food and sleep. We were not allowed to call up our families and did not have mobile phones,” a woman said in the video.

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Monday, December 06, 2021