A Saudi sponsor, who spent SR 20,000 to recruit a servant from Sri Lanka, was shocked to find that his new maid was three months pregnant on arrival in the Kingdom, Arab News reported.
Saroja Pushpavalli (not her real name) from Maskeliya in Sri Lanka, came to Riyadh two weeks ago and her sponsor found that she was pregnant when she underwent medical tests in the capital.
The Saudi sponsor handed her to the Sri Lankan Embassy to send her back home since she would not be able to attend to household chores because of her pregnancy.
“How can this happen, when the maid has undergone pregnancy test in Colombo?” he asked.
Saroja, 33 and married, told Arab News that she underwent the medical test at a clinic approved by the government of Sri Lanka.
It is mandatory for all workers who come for employment in the Gulf countries to undergo a medical test at one of the clinics recommended by the GCC Approved Medical Centers’ Association (GAMCA), which is affiliated to the GCC Health Ministers Secretariat headquartered in Riyadh.
There are more than 15 such clinics on the island. Around 60,000 maids from Colombo come to the Kingdom annually to work in Saudi homes. The visas are issued by the Saudi Embassy in Colombo. These maids are from poor homes in villages throughout the island.
The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) gives the green light for a maid to go for foreign employment only on the production of a medical certificate from an approved clinic and a document to certify that she has undergone a training course specified for housemaids. Sources at the Sri Lankan Embassy here said that it seems the GAMCA approved medical clinics are not doing their job properly. They said that recently a maid, who is an epileptic patient, was sent for work in the Kingdom.
The maid, Nilanthi Maduwanthi, was sent as a housemaid to Gorayath in the north of the Kingdom near the Jordanian border. “She worked for two weeks. Later she was hospitalized for two months and the mission sent her home this Friday,” the sources added.
Arab News learned that employment agents in Sri Lanka run an organized racket in cooperation with medical clinics to make a fast buck. The Saudi sponsor, who is desperate to get a housemaid for his house, pays any amount in Sri Lanka to get a servant for the house. To lure the maid to go to the Kingdom, job agents pay the maid up to 50,000 rupees before her departure from the island.