National

Nepali woman returns home from Iraq incapacitated

- PRADEEP MENYANGBO, DHARAN
Rai, who arrived in Dharan on Saturday, is now receiving treatment at ICU of BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences

Dec 26, 2017-All Shanta Rai can remember is a thud in her head after her employer in Iraq hurled his phone at her. Next, she woke up in a local hospital bed after two weeks, Rai said.

After being abandoned by her husband, 34-year-old Shanta, of Gogane-7 in Bhojpur district, went to Iraq in 2014 to work as a housemaid with a hope to earn enough to fund education her only daughter. But she barely escaped death and returned home last Sunday, incapacitated and empty-handed.

Rai, who arrived in Dharan on Saturday, is now receiving treatment at ICU of BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences.

Shanta said her employer broke both her legs and also tried to damage her backbone in what she said an attempt to kill her in Arbil, Iraq. Thanks to a Nepali man named Suraj, who rescued Shanta and admitted her to a local hospital.

“My employer tortured me physically and mentally. For no reason, he beat me black and blue and rendered me disable. I am grateful to Nepalis working in Iraq who saved my life and sent me back to Nepal,” said Shanta from the hospital bed.

Upon learning about the ongoing violence against her, some neighbours called police, according to Shanta. “That saved my life, otherwise I would have been dead there,” she said.

“I came to realise the plight of female workers abroad after suffering a nightmare myself,” Shanta recalled her ordeal in the Gulf. “My employer would frequently tortured me.

When I asked him to be returned to Nepal or allow me to work somewhere else, he would beat me badly.”

Shanta had reached Iraq with the help of Bal Bahadur Thapamagar of Syangja district and his wife Sashi Ghale. But the couple has gone out of contact now. Shanta expressed gratitude to Nepalis in Iraq who helped her return home. But she has appealed for financial help to pay her medical bills. Shanta’s sister Mamata, who lives in Dharan, said that Shanta was brought to Dharan from Biratnagar on December 23 for treatment.

Dr Guru Khanal, who has been involved in Shanta’s treatment, said they had

operated on her legs and implanted steel rods. He said Shanta needs further treatment due to injuries in her backbone.

Published: 26-12-2017 08:24

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