Maid in distress rescued by local authorities in Abu Dhabi

Woman unable to bear working conditions at employer's home is rescued by local authorities

06:30 August 10, 2017
The Embassy of India in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi: The Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi said local authorities have rescued a housemaid who was allegedly detained in the capital.

“We came to know that she was rescued by local authorities on Tuesday. Our officers met her briefly on Wednesday at a local authority’s office. She is doing well now,” a senior embassy official told Gulf News.

The woman arrived in Abu Dhabi around two months ago; however, she was not satisfied with the working conditions at her employer’s home, said Dinesh Kumar, first secretary and counsellor for community affairs, at the embassy.

He did not have further information about the woman as the embassy did not have a copy of her passport.

Gulf News is withholding her name to protect her privacy.

Sent back

Meanwhile, a Facebook post made by a friend of the woman alleged that the Indian embassy turned her away when she sought help.

Unable to bear the harassment, she left the employer’s house and went straight to the embassy on a working day only to be sent back, with instructions to return after two days, the post said.

The embassy official said there was miscommunication between the woman and an official she spoke to.

Kumar said he was on holiday until Tuesday and investigated the matter after returning to the office on Wednesday.

“The woman visited the embassy last Thursday and complained about long working hours and related problems. A woman officer advised her to amicably settle the matter with her employer as she worked only two months.

"The officer gave her mobile number and emergency contact number of police also and advised her to use them in the event of an emergency,” Kumar said.

The woman contacted the officer again, but she could not act immediately because of some inconsistencies in the information received, he said.

Later the embassy came to know that she was rescued by the local authorities, Kumar said.

Local authorities were not immediately available for comment.

Kumar said the embassy generally sends housemaids in distress to the embassy’s shelter home and reports the matter to the local authorities. “Apparently that procedure was not followed in this case due to a miscommunication,” he explained.

Kumar said the embassy has sought consular access to the woman and requested authorities to repatriate her at the earliest opportunity after completing legal formalities.

The embassy will issue an emergency travel document if she has lost her passport, and will provide a flight ticket, he said.