Housekeeper from Santacruz confined in Sharjah

TNN, 13-10-2017 11:37:35

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Housekeeper from Santacruz confined in Sharjah

MUMBAI: A Santacruz-based housekeeper who went to Sharjah for better work opportunities is being confined by his employers for the past six days and is not being allowed to return to Mumbai.

Raju Baria (47) maintained a vacant Vakola flat owned by an Indian couple settled in Sharjah. On learning that he was looking for a white-collar job abroad, they called him to Sharjah. But after Raju landed there, his employers took away his passport. Raju is the sole breadwinner of his family, comprising his wife and two college-going children.

"My father’s movements are being monitored and he is allowed few phone calls," said Piyush, his 19-year-old son. Piyush has tweeted to Sushma Swaraj, minister of external affairs, to rescue his father after attempts to register a police complaint in Mumbai did not work out. "Vakola police told us they have no jurisdiction as my father as well as his employer are overseas."

It all started with Raju’s job application to a Sharjah company. "My father has been a housekeeper for nearly two decades. He wanted to work in an office but his application was rejected. He mentioned this to his employers on October 2. Within days, the couple bought him a flight ticket and a tourist visa. He flew out on October 6," said Piyush. The visa is valid till December 1.

In Sharjah, Raju has been doing household chores and is being made to clean washrooms of an institute. He is not being paid and is given leftovers for meals. He is put up in a room with other workers. On one occasion, his brother-in-law managed to speak to his employers on phone and requested them to let him return to India. "But the employers said they had spent a lot on Raju over the years and he should pay them at least Rs 10 lakh if he wants to go back," Piyush added. Piyush visited BJP MP Poonam Mahajan’s office on Thursday to seek help.

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