Indian trafficking victim comes back home from Saudi Arabia

Remigio Civitarese
Settembre 25, 2017

After a 14-month ordeal in Saudi Arabia, where she was forced to work as a "slave" in a house, 42-year-old Jacintha Mendonca has returned home. She contacted the Mumbai-based recruitment agency, headed by Shabaz Khan, who assured her that she would be paid?25,000 a month.The agent promised he would arrange for her passport and the visa through his representative in Mangaluru.

When Jacinta Mendonca left her home in Mudrangady near Karkala 14 months ago for a job in Qatar, her only thought was to earn enough to help educate her three children.

"I had a hellish experience in Yanbu, I was made to work day in and day out at three mansions belonging to the employer's mother, his three wives and their children, I was tortured like an animal", she said, adding the children called her "qaddama" (slave).

The victim said that she flew to Dubai from where she was taken to Saudi Arabia without any prior intimation.

Mendonca alleges that she was forced to stay inside the house and was not allowed to go out anywhere. As she tried to escape, later on she received more torture.

She was badly beaten up, head banged against the wall. Her employers did not even give her water when she pleaded with them. She reunited with her family in Mundrangady in Udupi district on September 22. This took a severe toll on her health, but she was compelled to continue working.It was after the death of her husband past year that Ms. Mendonca, looking for a job, came upon an advertisement for a home nurse for an Indian family in Qatar.

Ravindra Shanbagh of Udupi Human Rights Foundation said they could locate the employer in Saudi Arabia only after a series of attempts.

The efforts of the NRI Forum in Saudi Arabia succeeded in getting Jacintha back home on September 22 through lawful measures, he said.

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