Indian maids victims of abuse in Qatar

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Dubai, Oct 5 (UNI) Five maids have lodged complaints at the Indian embassy in Doha, Qatar in the last one week, Qatar alleging maltreatment by sponsors, including sexual abuse, torture by scalding and non-payment of wages highlighting the need for strict monitoring of migration of maids to the Gulf states.

In a most recent incident, a maid hailing from Madanapply in Chittur district of Andhra Pradesh sought shelter at the Indian mission in Doha on Wednesday along with her husband. She charged that the sponsor, a government servant, did not pay them any salary and made sexual advances.

The maid who came to Qatar only four months ago said she and her husband had been working for the sponsor without salary ever since the latter's arrival more than four months ago. ''When my husband, who is employed as the house driver, asked for our salary, the sponsor not only beat him in front of me but he also wanted me to sleep with him,'' the maid complained.

Her visa had been attested by the embassy, as required by the mission to be considered for job in Qatar households, a report in the Gulf Times daily said.

Indian Ambassador George Joseph said the maid was sent to the Deportation Centre yesterday. Her husband would also be sent to the centre today, he said.

The embassy has also formally informed the foreign ministry about the incident, he said.

In the first case, a housemaid from Kerala's Wayanad raised some serious allegations of sexual harassment against her sponsor. She also said that the sponsor had physically assaulted her and burnt her repeatedly with cigarette butt.

Following this, two maids, both from Andhra Pradesh, also lodged a complaint against what the duo described as the brutality of their respective sponsors. One of them complained that members of the sponsor's family assaulted her with hot iron. Another maid who had come to Qatar only a week ago, raised similar complaints against her sponsor's wife.

The complaints of abuse against Filipina maids meanwhile have come down after Manila introduced a minimum wage of 400 dollars which is much more than the minimum wage for Indian maids. The Philippines strictly implements the regulations and fewer Filipinas are now coming to the Gulf for housemaid's jobs. The Indian mission in Doha has stopped attesting visa for maids in face of rising complaints of abuse.

UNI

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