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Nepali women suffering in Jordan
Publication Date : 15-02-2013
Five Nepali women working in a garment factory in Jordan 's Dulay Industrial Park have pleaded with the government to help them return home. The women claim that they are being exploited, ill-treated and harassed by their employers and local youths. They say that there are around 100 Nepali workers in the country looking to go back.
“Children hurl stones at us, while older youth verbally and physically abuse girls. A few days ago, a few Arab boys attempted to abduct two Nepali girls and took away their mobile phones,” Sarita KC told the Post.
Along with KC, Supriya Lama, 25, Aarati Pariyar, 32, Maya Lama, 20, and Rupa Ghatami, 25, are seeking to return to Nepal. All went to Jordan legally through the SCC employment agency, paying between Rs 40,000 to 50,000.
In their month-and-a-half work-stay at a needle-craft company, they claimed that they were forced to work 18 hours a day without proper food or lodging. "The manpower company assured that we would be paid Rs 22,000 monthly, but our employers only give us Rs 13,000," said Ghatami.
They do not leave their dwellings due to fear of being abused and terrorised by local youths. Ghatami, the mother of a child, said that her husband and brother are also working in different factories in Jordan. Despite being ill, her husband has not been granted leave, she said.
According to KC, around 100 of her fellow women workers are willing to return home. “Some are sick, others injured or paralysed. Many women are living in horrible conditions and want to escape,” she said.
Bishnu Khadka of the SCC manpower company said his agency is preparing to bring the women back. He said he has spoken with officials at the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) and the Nepali mission in Saudi Arabia to rescue the women. “The women are exaggerating the matter. However, if other women also want to return, we are ready to bring them all back,” said Khadka.
Nepali Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Udaya Raj Pandey, told the Post that the embassy has written to the honorary counselor of Jordan about the matter.
“Our embassy was not even informed of the presence of Nepali women in the Jordanian industry. Earlier, the government would provide work approvals only after verification from us, but they did not consult us in this case,” said Pandey. He said the embassy will send its delegates if the manpower company or the honorary counselor fail to help the women.
Meanwhile, DoFE officials said they have started the process to bring the women back.
(The names of victims have been changed upon request)