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 Post subject: Maid's hands were burnt by employer for not cooking tasty
 Post Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 2:43 am 
Lankan maid whose hands were burnt by employer returns home

29 August 2004

Dubai - The Sri Lankan maid Fathima Fazana whose hand was burnt by her employers for allegedly not cooking tasty food has returned to Sri Lanka with a smile on her face.

Two philanthropists based in the UAE have together donated a sum of Dh3,200 to her after reading about her travails in the Khaleej Times.

Lankan maid's hand 'burnt for cooking tasteless food'

By Debasree S.
18 August 2004

DUBAI - The Dubai-based employers of a Sri Lankan maid allegedly inflicted second-degree burn injuries on her hands for failing to cook tasty food for the eight-member family.

The 21-year-old maid Fathima Fazana, who had come to Dubai on a visa provided by a labour supply company in November 2003, said that she had fled from the household in Jumeirah after three months of torture culminating in the lady of the house actually burning a knife and pressing it down on her right hand, not once but in four different places.

"They are a huge family with seven children and I used to do a lot of hard work but even then they would not give me enough to eat. Every time, they decided that they did not like my work, they would starve me, but even then I persisted because I had paid Rs15, 000 to the recruitment agent in Sri Lanka to get myself this job. Finally after three months, they claimed that the food that I prepared for lunch was not good and the lady in a fit of rage took the red hot knife and hurt my right hand," explained an agonised Fathima.

Even after six months of the gruesome incident, Fathima's hand carries evidence of the torture.

Her hand with red blotches all over look scarred forever, and deep down she knows she does not have a future if she goes back to her home country.

Estranged from her husband, Fathima had mortgaged all her material belongings to come to Dubai and earn a living for her only son, who is currently being looked after by her parents.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, P.D. Fernando, Sri Lankan Consul-General, Dubai and Northern Emirates, said that the consulate had sent an official with the maid to the immigration office to trace her passport. In the event of it not being found, they would issue an emergency certificate so that she could travel to Sri Lanka. Fathima's woes did not end with her running away from her sponsors and when she first approached her consulate six months ago she was told that a police verification of the incident was required.

She subsequently lodged a complaint with the Jumeirah police station, but the lady sponsor refused to turn up for the police enquiry.

Her son finally came but denied that his mother had been involved in inflicting the injuries on the maid, Fathima explained, adding that the police had subsequently dropped the case.

After lodging the complaint she had to stay in the detainee cell of the immigration department for 14 days before she was set free.

Without any documents or money, Fathima then took shelter in one of her friends' quarters who also works in a villa in Jumeirah and has been working part time since then to earn money to buy herself a ticket to return home.

Mr Fernando said that the laws for taking up overseas employment were being made more stringent in Sri Lanka and that labour contracting companies like the 'Al Enjaz GE Services' that had arranged for Fathima's job would be blacklisted so as to reduce such instances of abusive employment.

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