A 45-year-old housemaid, who was not allowed to travel home for a decade and also deprived of her salary for over six years, has proved that charity needs a big heart and not deep pockets.
Helping the needy by some well-off people has been a more common sight but in a rarest of rare case a housemaid from the mountainous Himalayan country of Nepal, who came to the Kingdom to work on a meager monthly salary of SR500, has donated her two-month salary to the needy in Taif and proved that her heart is taller than the Everest as reported by Saudi Gazette.
The generous donation by the poor woman came to light when her unpaid wages were being calculated by the authorities.
Gangamaya Kumal, hails from a remote village in Nepal. She came to work as a housemaid in Saudi Arabia in 2008.
Gangamaya was not paid for the last 6 years and 8 months, and she was not allowed any single day off during her decade-long stay in the Kingdom.
Her father and later her husband died during her stay in the Kingdom and despite her best efforts she was not allowed to attend their funeral.
Moreover, a devastating earthquake some time back destroyed her mud house in her hometown.
Gangamaya’s complaint also claimed that her phone was taken away by her sponsor and she was completely cut off from the rest of the world. It was almost impossible for her to interact with any outsider other than members of the sponsor’s household.
Her plight came to light only when she was brought to Nepalese consulate in Jeddah by her sponsor for renewal of her passport. The officials asked her why she did not travel even once in 10 years and she shockingly replied,
“Though I have worked for a decade I was not able to see how a Saudi riyal note looks like nor did I touch it ever.
I wanted to give some money in charity myself. Even that opportunity was denied to me and my sponsor told me that he had donated SR1,000 to the poor on my behalf and deducted that amount while calculating my pending wages.”
“My sponsor told me that he was sending SR500 every month to my family back home in Nepal. I have no idea how many times he had remitted the money, but the sponsor informed the officials that he had remitted for 3 years and 4 months,” Gangamaya added.
She said: “I would have remained in Taif for the rest of life, if I had not visited the Nepalese consulate in Jeddah.”
She was desperate to go back to her country and always praying for it.
She said that her children informed her that they tried to contact her through phone several times. “They even called my sponsor also but whenever he saw any call coming from Nepal, he would decline it,” she added.
The maid lodged a complaint with officials in Taif with the help of Nepalese consulate. Her sponsor has paid Gangamaya her due wages amounting to SR30,196 over 6 years and 8 months after deducting her medical bills for seasonal viral fever and common seasonal diseases along with other expenses which Gangamaya accepted except the charity of SR1,000.
“Is there any reward for good other than good?”
“After receiving complaint from Gangamaya, we kept her in our shelter house and visited Taif to meet local officials, who ordered the sponsor to pay pending wages to her,” said Revati Podal, consul general of Nepal.
He said that she was not allowed any annual vacation or weekend day-offs for the last 10 years. For this altogether received SR500 including the end-of-service benefits.
Distraught Gangamaya is desperate to return home and is in no mood to challenge the deductions. She is set to travel on Wednesday with the help of Nepalese consulate.
“The devastating earthquake destroyed my mud house which I have to rebuild and also arrange my daughter’s marriage, both prime challenges for me”, she said.