HYDERABAD: Tears continue to stream down Subbalakshmi’s cheeks. She cannot believe she is back home in India. Held captive in Saudi Arabia, the 40-year-old woman from Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh had lost all hope of ever returning and seeing her three children and husband. But then, her prayers were answered.
A WhatsApp message that she had managed to send out and the efforts of the police from neighbouring Telangana came together to earn her astonishing rescue. The WhatsApp message was seen by Warangal collector Amrapali who passed it on to the police commissioner Sudheer Babu.
“I was moved to tears at her plight and had to do something. So I put our DCP Ismail on the job who has experience of dealing with such cases of agents duping women with lure of Jobs in Gulf,” Sudheer Babu told NDTV.
Tracing the phone numbers that had forwarded the WhatsApp message sent by Subbalakshmi, Mr Ismail and his team tracked down three middlemen, two in Hyderabad and in Mumbai. Through them, they contacted the man who allegedly “bought” Subbalakshmi for Rs. 2 lakh and reportedly kept her virtually captive inside the bathroom of a house in Riyadh as she had fallen ill.
“My mouth was tied and I had to survive drinking water inside the bathroom and also eating there itself,” Subbalakshmi said.
“My husband had three surgeries and we were in huge debt. I was promised job of a domestic help in Dubai and we paid 80,000 rupees for it to the agents. But they duped and cheated me. I was sold twice and they brought me to Riyadh,” she said.
Subbalakshmi said she had almost lost hope of seeing her family again but remembered what her daughter had said about the power of social media.
“What happened to me should not happen to anyone else. I had lost all hope… then I remembered what my daughter had said… WhatsApp… Facebook… Gmail… my daughter said the world would come to know if you put something on it,” she said.