Nepali women duped in China have returned home, but their ordeal is not over yetMost of them have filed complaints at the foreign employment department demanding compensation.
When Ritu Sherpa Shrestha landed in Kathmandu on Sunday after spending two difficult months in China, the only thing that was in her mind was reaching home in Taplejung at the earliest. She was one of the 44 women who were duped by a recruiting agency which had promised a job at Dandong Larore, a garment factory in the northeastern Chinese city of Dandong. But since she had returned empty-handed, going home has become a problem.
Shrestha, along with four of her friends from her home district, has been staying at a hotel for a week waiting for compensation.
“We don’t have money. Nor do we have any relatives in Kathmandu,” Shrestha told the Post. “We have no option but to wait [for compensation] so that we could pay the hotel bill and head for home. We have told the hotel that we will pay soon.”
All of them had paid between Rs60,000 and Rs100,000 each to the Gaushala-based Compass Recruitment for their jobs at Chinese garment factory. However, when these women landed there, they found that they were duped. They were provided neither the promised job and facilities nor the monthly salary of $400.
All the 44 women now want their money back from the respective agents and the Gaushala-based Compass Recruitment which had sent them to China.
Sumitra Baraily, a local resident of Gokarna, Kathmandu, had paid a total of Rs210,000 for work in China for herself and her two sisters. The agent had visited her at her home and agreed to pay a part of the amount she invested for the job.
“The agent is ready to return around Rs25,000. But how can we accept that because each of us paid Rs70,000?” Baraily asked. “Also there is no guarantee when we will get our money back.”
Desperate and hoping to get their money back, most of these women have approached the Department of Foreign Employment, the authority responsible for overseeing foreign employment, its governance and cases of fraud. Afraid of strict actions against them, various agents who had connected these women with the recruitment company have come forward to return their shares of the fee.
Khadga Thapa, who had coaxed Shrestha into taking the job in China, has requested her not to go to the department and wait at least until Sunday.
“We not only want our initial investment but also one month of salary because we had worked for the company,” said Shrestha.
Puspa Sunar, who was among the women who have filed complaints at the department, was told by her agent that he would return his share—Rs20,000—and also help her in retrieving the remaining amount from the manpower agency.
“Agent Krishna Rai is ready to return Rs20,000, but we want all the money back,” said Sunar. They were told to resolve the matter with the recruiting agency on mutual understanding.
Bhola Nath Guragain, spokesperson for the department, told the Post that they have received complaints from the women saying that they were cheated as they were not given the promised work and facilities.
“We have told them to reach an agreement with the recruitment agency. This doesn’t mean these women will not be compensated,” said Guragain. “We will invite both parties to the department to resolve the dispute. If it does not end in an agreement, we will start the process to initiate action against the company based on the documents and evidence produced by the victims.”
While the department official refrained from giving a particular date when these victims will receive the compensation as it can take two to three months, Shrestha and her friends—all from Taplejung—are left with no option but to wait.
“We have been told to wait for the final decision on Sunday,” Shrestha said. “I don’t know what to do and where to go if I don’t get my money back within the next couple of days.”