Battered and bruised, Nepali maid speaks of her Saudi ordeal
KATHMANDU, July 31: Returning home alive seemed impossible. A 20-year-old girl from Pokhara had just succumbed to injuries from torture right in front of her eyes and others were near about collapse due to hunger, thirst and torture at the hands of the agents in Hail of Saudi Arabia.
Sanimaya Limbu, however, managed to extricate herself from the clutches of the agents and make it to Kathmandu alive to, as they say, tell the tale.
The twenty-five-year old, who spent 10 horrific days as hostage and returned home from Saudi Arabia yesterday, is now pleading before the government to take immediate steps to rescue three other Nepali women who, she thinks, will not survive the torture for long.
“After seeing a Pokhreli girl beaten, thrashed and sexually abused right in front of my eyes, who later succumbed to the torture the same day, I was pretty sure I would not return to my country alive,” said visibly feeble Limbu talking to journalists at Maiti Nepal. “In fact, the torture was so severe that all of us wished they would rather kill us at once,” she added.
Full of hopes, Limbu had left Letang-VDC, her village in Morang district, for Saudi Arab 8 months ago. She wanted to meet her husband who has been working in the country for three years now.
Agents Raju Thapa, Prem Limbu and another one called Ram had arranged documents for her and she flew to Saudi Arabia via Delhi. The agents had told her that she would earn Rs 15,000 per month doing ´easy´ household work.
“Only upon reaching Saudi Arabia did I realize that I was sold to an Arab man who would be my master and use me the way he wanted. The man who had paid for me was not as cruel as his wife and children who were so inhuman that anyone would find it hard to believe,” Limbu said.
According to Limbu, she had to work for more than 20 hours a day. But still the mistress would threaten to behead her for this or that. Her daughters spat on her and the son would abuse her sexually.
“I was allowed not more than 3 to 4 hours of sleep and given uneatable food twice a day. The meat they gave me sometimes was all leftover bones and skins. If I refused to eat that, the entire family would torture me like anything,” said Limbu.
Right from the beginning, Limbu tried to free herself from the bondage. Her desperation grew after other housemaids, some of them Nepali, showed the tortures and murders of their likes, secretly recorded in their mobile phones.
“I wish no Nepali ever goes to that hell. I beg people not to go there,” said an overwhelmed Limbu.
A mother of two, Limbu repeatedly pleaded before her master to set her free and help her return to Nepal. After 8 months, the master took her to the agent´s office and asked the brokers to repay him half of the amount he had paid for her.
At the agents office she saw four other Nepalis and eight foreigners who also wanted to return to their home country.
“In my case, the master suddenly showed kindness after I told him that the god would punish him if I died without seeing my children. After that he did not insist on getting back his money from the agent and even arranged my air ticket,” said Limbu.