Accusations fly as maid drama unfolds at embassy

By Angelo

Accusations fly as ‘maid’ drama unfolds at embassy
Web posted at: 8/12/2006 3:36:3
Source ::: THE PENINSULA

Tears rolling down Kudupudi Satyavathi’s cheeks as she narrates her woes.

DOHA • Indian embassy yesterday stopped the repatriation of an Indian maid who came complaining that she was being packed off after being battered by her sponsor.

The mission sent the 66-year-old maid for a medical check-up and said it would sue her sponsor for alleged ill-treatment. She was to be later handed over to the authorities concerned for being formally repatriated via the deportation centre. It was a coincidence that when the maid came to the embassy, the monthly open house had just ended presided over by the Indian ambassador, Dr George Joseph.

As Joseph, other embassy officials and a posse of local media persons covering the event came out of the venue, they confronted the sobbing maid in the reception area of the mission premises.

Indian Ambassador, Dr George Joseph (in black suit), waiting impatiently to hear the woes of the sobbing maid who is narrating her plight in her mother tongue Telugu to a community member at the embassy premises here yesterday. (SALIM MATRAMKOT)

Her Qatari sponsor and wife were apparently following her and they were all dazed to see senior Indian diplomats walking along with so many media photographers up to them.

The maid, Kudupudi Satyavathi, seemed to be fighting extreme pain as she kept sobbing while narrating her woes through an interpreter, a member of the Indian community who happened to be present at the open house and know Telugu, the maid's mother tongue. When The Peninsula photographer began taking her photographs, her sponsor tried to stop him with a hostile gesture. The ambassador immediately intervened and asked the man out of the mission premises.

"No more visas for (Indian) maids for this family," a visibly upset ambassador told his subordinates, lending his ears to the tearful maid. "Take her immediately for medical check-up and then to the deportation centre," he told T R Meena, second secretary at the embassy in charge of labour matters.

Her sponsor who appeared to be prepared to put her on the first available flight to Mumbai, was asked by Meena to contact the CEID (Criminal Evidence and Information Department) the next morning (today) with her passport and air ticket. Around five years ago she was working with same sponsor and went back home due to personal reasons. She cam back about a year ago.

Kudupudi Satyavathi hails from a small village named Kadali in East Godavari district of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. East Godavari is a poverty-stricken area of AP and sends the largest number of Indian maids to Qatar. The ambassador, while consoling and assuring her of all possible assistance, told this newspaper that the embassy will take a power of attorney from her and sue the sponsor on her behalf.

 

Gulf Times report

Beaten up maid seeks refuge at Indian mission
Published: Saturday, 12 August, 2006, 11:45 AM Doha Time

Satyavadi recounting her misery to community members and embassy officials

Staff Reporter

A weeping housemaid came to the Indian embassy last evening seeking refuge from what she called "daily beatings and non-payment of wages".

The woman, Kodupudi Satyavadi, 35, from Andhra Pradesh’s Rajalmandalam in Turuppugodar district, 35, wept uncontrollably at the chancery, in front of scores of Indians, who had just finished their monthly "open house" interaction with the embassy officials, and Ambassador Dr George Joseph.

Satyavadi

When Satyavadi’s sponsor and his wife, who were also present at the embassy, tried to take her away, the security personnel prevented them.

The sponsor and his wife, the alleged perpetrators of the ill-treatment, brandished a note book with a few thumb impressions to show that wages were being regularly given. A close look at the book revealed that they had obtained Satyavadi’s thumb impressions in advance.

Apparently, Satyavadi’s employer had got her thumb impressions under duress for the entire year, said Karim Abdullah, who acted as the interpreter.

Amid tears, the woman, speaking in Telugu and Arabic, said she had arrived a year ago and that she had never been paid on time. As of yesterday, three months’ payment was pending.

The maid alleged that the sponsor’s wife beats her up everyday.

Apparently buckling under pressure, the sponsor hastily agreed to pay the back wages and stop beating the maid.

But, this was rejected.

"What is the guarantee that they would stick to their words", the ambassador asked. "We cannot have a person sitting in his house to monitor their behaviour".

Satyavadi said she just wants to go back home after receiving the salary arrears.

The incident had its moments of drama.

When Gulf Times photographer tried to click the tearful maid, the sponsor barged in front of him to prevent him from doing so.

It was pointed out to the sponsor, among others by the ambassador himself, that he was standing inside the embassy. Whereupon he beat a hasty retreat.

Now, the maid would be sent to the Central Evidence and Investigation Department (CEID), the ambassador told Gulf Times.

Before deportation, the embassy would get a written complaint from her against the sponsor and his wife to file a suit in a court on her behalf.

 

 

Now the question is - Is she 35 or 66? was she working less than a year or more?

Who is right - GT or Peninsula

2 news papers, same country yet different

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By e46M3• 12 years 7 months ago.
e46M3

Anyone interested in passport stamps

By dohagirl• 12 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 3/5
dohagirl

No offence to TG or E46, but I could only scan your arguments. Mostly I agree with Mocha and think you both made good points.

In regards to journalism in the Gulf, I said earlier that the kind of mistakes in the articles are not uncommon in any two competing papers anywhere in the world, its a result of the rush to get the story out.

The Gulf and the Pennisula are what can be expected in a non-English speaking country for an English newspaper, as Doha grows and these papers can start to hire a better quality of journalist, the paper will improve...hopefully so will the radio station. A good sign is that they post stories like these (regardless if they got the facts right or not), which shows that they are not as censored as they might be.

By tg• 12 years 7 months ago.
tg

Wow Sandie..I agree that I am a "idiot who needs to take a hike" but my attitude is "Under-dog Uber Alles"(above else) and I wear it on my sleeve...and as explained in my previous post I would take this hike to my own choosing..If you think you would stay in countries you are bitter about for 10 years good for you..not me...and I have spoken FOR Qatar,Lebanon,US,UAE and everything I believe needing a voice on this website ...I am happy to be in Qatar and will decide otherwise when I wish..not based on your "pearls of wisdom" Check again... I have explained what I am bitter about, above...the problem with your insulting one-liners are they are pure hot gases on cross examination..Yesterday I remember we were discussing "insulting behaviour with Arab tourist" in "do i look like a freak 2 u!!"..by the way Half of my posts are about new-arrival queries..the consistent harping about the poor workers is to merely to highlight their "divine right" to "life of dignity".....

Thats about me..but I am confused on what you stand for..You started off well with "racism against arabs"( and I supported you on that)..then moved to attacking personal blogs and finally distasteful "hymn transplants" and "drivers and maids put to great use"..

I guess that the max I would muster for you...NO I dont want you to "take a hike"...Keep those blows coming..

By mstrsteve• 12 years 7 months ago.
mstrsteve

Is there anything good that goes on in your life? I never see a post from you that has even a hint of an upbeat side. So please, keep your negativity to yourself. If you indeed have something ON TOPIC or even relevent, post away, my friend. Otherwise what's the point? To inflame? Perhaps to lay upon somone else who is totally undeserving the woes, bumps, and pitfalls of your day? Whatever the case, how about trying to post something that does not degrade, insult, belittle, scold, harm, frustrate, or even annoy others?

By anonymous• 12 years 7 months ago.
anonymous

You guys are a bunch of idiots.

tg, stop yer India Uber Alles attitude. It's in so many of yer posts, anyone can see it. If you don't like the way you or yer countrymen are treated by Arabs, Brits or whomever take a hike. Don't sugarcoat yer arguments in technical jargon and expect us to swallow em.

e46 who the heck appointed ya spokesman fer Qatar and journalists anyway. Put yer money where yer mouth is, show us yer passport stamps and worldly experience.

By e46M3• 12 years 7 months ago.
e46M3

It's a contest in courage, huh?

Ok, let's say you have the bigger balls. Doesn't make you any smarter though. Or your bitterness any more palatable.

And I'm not the one who backed out and completely changed my comments after the initial post.

By tg• 12 years 7 months ago.
tg

Ha..A disgraceful way of chickening out of a debate..which was initiated when you jumped on me with your "more loyal than the king" badge promptly visible....

By e46M3• 12 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
e46M3

&

By tg• 12 years 7 months ago.
tg

Since you dont even know me e46M3...I would clarify once and for all that I have a great life outside this forum..and I am in Qatar by my own choice..and can switch over at will anywhere to my choosing...category whatever according to Singaporean...The day I would feel bitter about living in Qatar or about the gulf.I would leave this place..My inbox is full of offers from around the world...By the way I have spent 2 Years in Glasgow with Foster Wheeler as Project Engineer.

I am bitter only about people taking other countries and nationals for granted (A very bitter feeling just experienced by Lebanon in the reckless manner it has been treated..Killing of innocent women and children is "birth pangs of a new middle east": Only an example before you get upset) and poor and hardworking people illtreated..I thing you agreed with me on that one claiming such ill-treaters are low life...

I am not bitter about people assuming that I will give in easily because someone jumps at my throat with offensive language. Also I have seen enough middle east including Oman and Saudi Arabia (all GCC)...I also know how people see construction workers from a single state of India (Kerala) and think the whole of India is like that...but all I do is patiently argue against it...and my purpose of finding links is to prove the argument hollow at that point..you can counter argue and so on..

When people can't argue they trade insults with the most childish one being "..get a life"..Well without knowing its an assumption that people dont have great lives outside the forum...The assumption is that threats and insults will make people back down...but I have never started insulting people until they show their frustration and start it with me...

I am a vocal supporter of the under-dog and I am not afraid of it...

By mochafrap• 12 years 7 months ago.
mochafrap

i don't think both of your arguments possessed any fundamental discrepancies. in fact..i thoroughly enjoyed your debate and identified with both arguments equally.

just a thought.

By e46M3• 12 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
e46M3

I meant the quality of the workforce and not the construction.

Just showing you that your point about the labor force in Qatar is not a uniquely Qatari situ.

I can get into the bitterness argument with you again if you like, you have manifested it in the past in other posts and not just about Qatar but also the UK and West in General.

By tg• 12 years 7 months ago.
tg

Now judging by your post...You are either bitter with the Gulf and US or both since you critisized the quality of construction(or you are bitter about it??)!!!..isn't that a simplistic asssumption?? LOL

Well I have made my point...and if you dont agree with that ...lets agree to disagree....By the way I could be wrong if you counter the argument instead of a verbal assault....I would be the first to accept that I was wrong....

I dont wish to push the point too much...It would be instructive to discuss the reconstruction of Lebanon post the Civil War..only with reference to the speed of construction....

By e46M3• 12 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
e46M3

What quality manpower? Where have you seen it? Yes, I've been here 10 years but also more than 10 years in Kuwait and have been to the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Only Oman is missing. I've never seen a quality construction work force anywhere. I even worked in construction in the US and my fellow workers weren't quality. Mass and fast development has a price. That's why the Koreans send their army conscripts to labor camps in the Gulf.

Perhaps the cement shortages, chaotic truck bans and other nuances that have bedevilled Doha'a boom are a reason for delays. And there really isn't enough of a supply of labor which is why things are so stretched.

10 years ago there was hardly anything here. The only landmarks were the Sheraton and General Post Office.

Let's call a spade a spade. The Emir assumed power in 1995. The financial situation was absolutely horrendous for the first few years thereafter. The money started rolling in about 2000. Ever since things took off and Doha had so much catching up to do with the other Gulf states because it had been so under-developed in the golden 70s and early 80s.

Qatar is advancing in leaps and bounds. While migrant workers rights aren't exemplary their governments have a duty to look after their interests too. There's a Human Rights Commission now that didn't exist 3 years ago. Newspapers now report on things that were taboo not too long ago.

Change is a slow process. But I see it happening here whereas it still hasn't begun in other places.

With respect.

By tg• 12 years 7 months ago.
tg

"Again your bitterness towards Qatar and the Gulf surfaces."

I am hardly bitter E46M3, I just don't believe that "being Positive" means either not discussing bitter issues or Bulldozing others Like you did in your post on Singapore guy saying "You are blowing up your own frustrations and generalizing it for everyone"...The problem I dont get bulldozed with accusations...

Attack the argument..you hardly know me..so you can't pre-judge my thinking..

I dig up statistics to provide a counter-point to the way things operate in the Gulf...If I had reservations about "booming stock market" a year ago in Dubai..my friends just laughed me off...Now the indices has crashed from 1400 to Less than 400 in 2 Months flat...

Regarding the manpower issue you really made me laugh...Just because there are people seen on the site hardly means quality manpower...Since there are many project Managers on this site they will confirm this..but It takes 12-14 months to complete a 30 Storey building in Dubai..and it takes (believe it or not) 24 to 30 Months to do it in Doha..I think even bystanders who are not in the industry complain about the speed of round abouts or so...

If you want me to sugar coat my arguments and pout feel good lullibies..and then focus on my self-interest..that would be dishonest...May be you have lived 10 years in Qatar..but I have seen many places in the Gulf..and know from Working experience that the one single thing missing in Qatar is people being honest about facts..and instead focusing on survival..Self-criticizm is the right way of correcting the wrongs and moving forward...

Issues like poor treatment of maids are little black dots which when removed...would make the rise of Qatar even more illuminating...

By e46M3• 12 years 7 months ago.
e46M3

Again your bitterness towards Qatar and the Gulf surfaces.

"Its a myth that supply of people will be unlimited to face such in-human treatments"

Fact of the matter, tg, is that this goes beyond maids and extends to all the blue-collar/"menial" job spectrum. Despite your supplied link, and it seems you are quite adept at digging up statistics and information that suit your purposes but are really easily countered by counter statistics and information, I don't see construction sites in the Gulf devoid of laborers and I'll bet you $100 that as long as there's demand for labor the supply will continue.

You know when this will change? When Western governments take up the cause of human rights and decide to implement more stringent standards on employers not only in the Gulf, which you're obviously so bitter about, but also in Hong Kong and Singapore among other places where there's rampant abuse.

We've discussed this before. It's up to the governments of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Egypt, Philippines, etc. to guarantee their emigrant workers' rights. And as long as they continue to turn a blind eye then they are just as criminal as the abusers. Having said that anyone abusing another human being is a despicable low-life who, in my view, deserves the "eye for an eye" treatment.

The quality of journalism in the local rags will NOT improve if "more creative and investigative writing is permitted". These "journalists" need lessons in the elements of journalistic style and content. They massacre the simplest article with the crude archaic English they learned as children and teenagers . First you learn the basics of building then you build more grandiose projects.

I do agree that there is a glaring need for more in-depth journalism but things are changing. But I agree with angelwings, I'm seeing things in the local press now that would never have been published 2 years ago, let alone 10.

By angelwings• 12 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
angelwings

I am just glad that they are now printing this kind of thing in the public arena. Even more noteworthy is the fact that these sponsors are being taken to court and punished. Whether the maid was 60 or 35 isn't a problem (although the pic shows a very young skin), it is more important that it has been brought to light, and the cruelty of the sponsors exposed. Until recently, the press were not allowed to publish these stories, thereby allowing the abuses to continue unabated.

We must remember that for every one abuse reported, there are a hundred more maids/drivers/houseboys hidden away & being equally abused by their sponsors and many of those sponsors are from other 'civilised'countries to boot. They have no way to get outside help, often being treat as prisoners - and plenty in households who work the 24/7 shift, with no extra salary, and very little in the way of 'home comfort' whilst working.

Lets be grateful for the reporting of the main facts, even if they couldn't get the age correct.

Angel

By tg• 12 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
tg

Its a myth that supply of people will be unlimited to face such in-human treatments from people who wont fail to invoke the name of GOD at the drop of a hat...

Indian maids are banned in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait..So they were hiring from Indonesia and Philipines...Now both countries have banned for these countries since an Indonesian maid Noor Meyati was tied in her bath room for month without food in Riyadh..She had her arms and legs amputated for gangarine..For a change the Saudis punished the Employers for 6 Years

Unlimited supply..think again...

http://www.itp.net/business/features/details.php?category=construction&id=4354

Quality of journalism will improve if more creative and investigative writing is permitted..If all you have to do is publish Bombast, booming growth reports and Worlds' best,largest and biggest and what not...Who else would join it other than pen-pushers...

After Years of Growth stories of the "Worlds most dynamic city", Dubai is allowing stories of distress sale of properties only now...

By e46M3• 12 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
e46M3

The Gulf Times and Peninsula are poor excuses for journalism. Forget the stuff they pull off the wires and print, look at their write-ups of local stories, more like primary school composition.

As for the way people treat others, depends on whether you've had what used to be termed a "good upringing", i.e. being raised to be decent, humble, kind and generally sensitive to your surroundings, something I still believe in and try to instill in my two little ones.

As long as people are allowed to get away with this these things will continue to happen.

The Indian ambassador said no more Indian maids for this family, well they'll go and get one from Sri Lanka, Philippines, Eritrea...

By Angelo• 12 years 7 months ago.
Angelo

Yes, bro. dentist it does not matter whether the person is 35 or 66, why such cruelty? and this is just one of the few reported cases.

At 66 she is old enough to be a grandparent.

Peace to all.

Angelo

By Angelo• 12 years 7 months ago.
Angelo

1) Since the media covered the same topic, should they not have had the same age group and same details?

2) How can people be inhumane to each other?

3) At 66years old, she may be old enough to be there grandmother? (Would anyone of us raise our hand against an elderly person? that is if the Peninsula is right?)

Yes, dentist it does not matter whether the person is 35 or 66, why such cruelty? and this is just one of the few reported cases.

Peace to all.

Angelo

By dentist• 12 years 7 months ago.
dentist

Angelo,

You made me read this story and get so touched by the woman's misery just to ask me whether she is 35 or 60 ???!!!!!!!!! Who gives a **********

By dohagirl• 12 years 7 months ago.
dohagirl

I once read two different papers about a plane crash, one said there were over 300 people dead the other said 50. The truth (which came out in the next weeks paper) was 250.

By airliner• 12 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
airliner

Although a disparity is common in different newspapers. It happens when both have competition to be the first to bring the news. They do it in a hurry to present the news. But normally the difference is less . It should be like 35 and 30 years. But here seems a big hurry and competition.Hope they will take care next time in getting and presenting accurate news.

By dohagirl• 12 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
dohagirl

Meh, this kind of disparity happens in papers all over the world when covering the same story. You should have read the papers right after 9/11, not a single paper had the story even remotely accurate. It can take up to a week for some papers to get the story right. There's a reason people hold press conferences, so they can hand out the right information already written. If you actually leave story telling up to the reporters, you wind up with mistakes in the story.

I think the most important thing here is that the sponsor will be charged.

By mochafrap• 12 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
mochafrap

well she can't be 66. she doesn't look it, plus i believe there's a ban on issuing work permits for any expats over the age of 60.

most importantly..they both seem to agree that the embassy will be filing a complaint against the sponsor. and i say good on them! i hope they sue his ass for everything he's got.

By e46M3• 12 years 7 months ago.
e46M3

Is that really the question?

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