Trapped in Oman with no passport & worsening health, Hyd woman seeks aid to return home
A 48-year-old woman named Fareeda Begum, who went to work as a housemaid in Dubai but was allegedly cheated and trafficked to Muscat, has urged the Telangana government and the Union Ministry of External Affairs to help her return home to Golkonda in Hyderabad. According to her family, Fareeda has developed medical complications and is unable to work, but the agent who gave her the job has withheld her passport and is refusing to send her home despite repeated requests. The family has sought urgent government assistance to rescue Fareeda and ensure her safe return to India.
Speaking to TNM, Fareeda’s husband Imran (48) said it was due to financial struggles that his wife decided to seek employment in Dubai. “We wanted to get our daughter married next year, besides which we had loans to clear,” he said.
Fareeda had previously worked in Saudi Arabia for a year, a job she found through a different agent from Hyderabad, Imran said. “Fareeda learnt about Shenaz through other women who worked alongside her in Saudi. They told her Shenaz, who operates from Dubai, was a good agent and we believed that,” he said. That’s how they contacted Shenaz, who in turn promised Fareeda a job with a monthly salary of 1,400 Dirham, in addition to free food and accommodation. Imran added that though Shenaz introduced herself as a resident of Hyderabad, the family had never met her.
Fareeda went to Dubai on a visit visa on November 4, 2023. She was sent to a house there, where she allegedly found herself working day and night without a pay. “She also fell sick during this time, and she really wanted to come back,” Imran said.
Fareeda’s sister Fahmeeda Begum alleged that Shenaz withheld her passport and made her work for free. "Fareeda worked there for 21 days, after which she fell ill. I had requested Shenaz to help my sister return home. Fareeda is seriously unwell, she told me she has been vomiting blood,” she said.
Imran said, “We told Shenaz we will pay for Fareeda’s tickets and she seemed to agree. But Shenaz deceived her after that. She told Fareeda she was being sent to India, but instead trafficked her to Muscat by road.” This was around the end of December, and Fareeda has allegedly been trapped in Muscat ever since.
Fahmeeda said Fareeda was receiving scarce medical attention in Oman as well. “She is not being given proper food or rest,” she told TNM, adding that Shenaz has also not paid her wages for the past 21 days.
Based on an image of her visa that was shared on X (Twitter), it appears Fareeda was issued a tourist visa to Dubai with a maximum duration of 30 days. It is speculated that Shenaz may have trafficked her to Oman after the visa expired, instead of assisting her return to India.
In a video addressed to Amjed Ullah Khan, spokesperson for the Majlis Bachao Tehreek (MBT), a visibly distressed Fareeda has appealed for help, citing her deteriorating health condition. Amjed Ullah Khan said he has appealed to Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar and the Indian Embassy in Muscat, Oman, to facilitate her safe return.