Tale of woe

Nine women who were illegally whisked off to Saudi Arabia via India returned home on Nov. 17 only to recount their tales of woe. All these women who worked as domestics complained about the cultural shock, seclusion and harsh treatment meted out to them in as varied forms as denial of food and sleep, besides the heaping of verbal and physical abuse. As promises of a fat pay packet were belied, they had to get back home empty-handed.

Migrant workers, in general, blindly trust their agents and do not bother to verify the latter’s credentials. Their query stops as soon as they hear about attractive pay. Cases abound where youths have not been able to adjust to hazardous working environs and have returned home. About experiences of those who lost their limbs, suffered torture or were denied the promised remuneration, less said the better. It is the duty of the government agencies and the recruiting agents to ensure that the right people are sent for the right jobs, and of course to the right employers. But unscrupulous elements simply set aside these critical considerations. There are many hapless Nepali men and women who are waiting to be rescued, while some cannot even seek help because of their illegal status. In countries with sizable Nepali workforce, Nepali embassies might consider having a separate labour attaché to focus on their problems. But unless the guilty are quickly brought to book, and made to pay for the crime and reimburse the aggrieved parties for damages, things will not improve.