Tale of two trafficked women

Kathmandu, June 1

Sabita Chaudhary of Itahari, Sunsari district and Nima Sherpa of Chainpur, Sankhuwasabha are the latest human trafficking victims being flown to Kuwait via New Delhi on Thursday.

When this scribe met these two Nepali women at Muscat Airport, they said they were not told by their go-between in New Delhi that they would have a 12-hour long transit at Muscat Airport.

“We were told we would be directly flown to Kuwait from Muscat. We did not know we had an almost three hour-long transit again in Dubai before we could fly to Kuwait,” Sabita said.

Both Sabita and Nima did not have employment visas and they were going to Kuwait as tourists. “We do not have money nor do we know who will employ us,”

Sabita said, adding that they were unable to contact anybody, including the go-between in New Delhi who sent them to Kuwait.

They only know the first name of the person who sent them to Kuwait. They said the person was known as Ramesh.

“We were kept on the sixth floor of a seven-storey house in New Delhi before being flown from there. The scorching heat was killing me and we were not allowed to go out. We were not given any phone to contact our families back home,” Sabita said and added that Nima was so scared she did not eat anything during her flight from New Delhi to Muscat.

Both women said they were told by their go-between that they would be received at Kuwait Airport by the landlords who would employ them.

“I do not know how much money the middlemen received from our employer.

We do not know how long we will have to work without remuneration for sending us air tickets,” Sabita said.

When Sabita was asked how she came in contact with the middlemen in New Delhi, she declined to elaborate.

“There is a long history behind it and I do not want to tell you that painful story,” she said.

Sabita said the middleman who sent her and Nima to Kuwait was trying to send two other women with them but they could not get clearance from airport authorities in New Delhi.

One of our friends could not come here with us although the middleman bought her air ticket three times. “That lady is very worried because the middleman told her that she would have to pay for the two tickets that he had bought for her even though she could not fly on those tickets,” Sabita added.

Upon hearing the painful story of these two women, Nepali migrant workers who were returning home gave them some money and food for their travel.

They told them to contact immigration authorities to catch their flight to Kuwait.

“We can alert our embassy authority in Oman if you want to return to Nepal from Muscat airport,” one of the migrant workers told the two Nepali women.

They replied that they had left home with the hope of getting a job in Kuwait and they wanted to go there.

Nepali women going to Gulf countries from any airport in India are supposed to produce no objection certificate obtained from Embassy of Nepal in India.

However, as far as the case of Sabita and Nima is concerned, it is not clear whether their middleman obtained the certificate.