Tribune News Service
Amritsar, January 23
A majority of the 11 women, aged between 28 years and 50 years, who were repatriated from the UAE after allegedly being duped by travel agents is reluctant to file police cases against them.
Hailing from different districts of the state, the women are now demanding their hard-earned money back from travel agents. Their families’ poor economic condition is holding them back from filing cases against the agents.
Rajinder Singh, SHO, Airport police station, said the police had not recorded any statement of the Dubai returnees as no one approached them. Each returnee had given between Rs 80,000 and Rs 1 lakh to travel agents on the promise of a job.
The eight rescued Punjabi women, who returned from Dubai yesterday, had gone to work as a domestic help on a promised monthly salary of Rs 25,000. However, their hopes were dashed when they found 500 women of different nationalities, including the Philippines, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, vying for the job.
They were pitted against others, who were better prepared, at the centre of Tadbeer company, involved in arranging house-keeping jobs in Dubai homes.
“Sheikhs visited the centre to select maids for household chores but they interacted with only those who had the basic knowledge of English or Arabic.” In this respect, women from Philippines were the most sought-after lot.
A widow and mother of two said they were kept at an accommodation guarded by women officials of the company. On specific days alone, they were taken to the centre for hiring and later brought back. They were offered meals — rice and chicken — twice a day. The quantity was barely enough to keep them alive, she said.
The women kept asking the officials to send them home if there were no jobs. However, company owner Baba Yasim demanded Rs 1.50 lakh from each for release and return of their passports. Yasim claimed he had paid the amount to Wasim, an agent, who had brought the women from the airport upon arrival.
SPS Oberoi, head of Sarbat Da Bhala Charitable Trust, said Filipinos were preferred to Indians as the former could work for longer hours and communicate in English or Arabic.
Jobless, poorly fed in Dubai
- Eight Punjabi women, who returned from Dubai on Friday, had gone to work as a domestic help on a promised salary of Rs 25,000
- But they couldn’t land jobs as those from the Philippines, Indonesia and Sri Lanka were preferred due to better communication skills
- They were kept at an accommodation guarded by women officials and fed rice and chicken twice a day during the entire duration of stay