Around 25 girls from Punjab are stranded in Muscat right now who went either on pretext of Visit Visa and became illegal immigrants or went under Maid Employment Visa and were forced to abandon their jobs due to harassment and exploitation (Image courtesy: Twitter/@vikramsahney)
Rajya Sabha member Vikramjit Singh Sahney has come to the rescue of around 25 Punjabis stranded in Muscat offering to pay their rescue fee of over 60 lakhs from his own pocket.
The girls released a video yesterday which went viral where they were seen pleading for help urging Indian authorities to rescue them.
The women apparently had gone as domestic help and claimed to have been held captive by employers. Taking cognizance of the video, Sahney moved to Indian Ambassador Amit Narang seeking safe evacuation. Speaking to Indianarrative.com, Sahney said that the Indian envoy assured him to help in evacuating the young women and they will be home soon.
Currently around 25 Punjabi girls are stranded who went either on pretext of Visit Visa and became illegal immigrants or went under Maid Employment Visa and were forced to abandon their jobs due to harassment and exploitation.
Indian Ambassador Amit Narang, in Muscat was quoted as saying that there is an overstay fine for employers seeking compensation of around 1000 Omani Riyals which is around 2.5 lakh Indian rupees per girl to release them of their employment contracts.
“We will pay their entire dues and get them back home,” said Sahney. “Indian Embassy at Muscat and World Punjabi Organisation, Oman Chapter are co-ordinating for the same at the ground level and the process of paying the fees and compensation will start soon and these stranded girls will be brought back safely to Punjab,” he added.
In the video, the young women said that they were confined to a place in Muscat for two to three months and forced to work as slaves.
Just spoken to Indian Ambassador in muscat HE @Amit_Narang who assured full help in evacuating these girls. To my shock he informs thousands of girls from punjab come to muscat on visit viza and get stranded there @CMOPb @BhagwantMann @CMTelangana as most notorious agents doing… https://t.co/QaxfuCAtsB
— Vikramjit Singh MP (@vikramsahney) May 1, 2023
These women were allegedly misled and sent by agents and Sahney has also written to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar for stern punishment against the erring travel agents. “I have also written to External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar requesting a prompt action to help the daughters of Punjab for their immediate evacuation and stringent punishment for the travel agents who are responsible for their plight,” said the MP who added that he had also brought the matter to the notice of Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to take adequate action.
Similar instances have been continuously reported in Punjab for five to six years. Poor Punjabi young women are being sent to West Asia by unscrupulous travel agents on the pretext of getting them a job of domestic help and improving their lives. But once they land in the Gulf countries, they are often sold for a mere Rs 2.5 to 3 lakh to the natives and the women end up working like slaves without pay.
Most of these women are taken on transit visas for a couple of weeks and when the visa expires, their employers spend around Rs 2.5 lakh to get a work visa for them. The women are not paid any salary instead the employers make one-time payment to agents.