Maid's deportation delayed By ANIQA HAIDER Published: 28th February 2008

A RUNAWAY housemaid, who is stranded in Bahrain because her sponsor won't pay for her air ticket, had her deportation date postponed from tomorrow to Sunday.

The sponsor of Indian Malakkunnel Kunjappan Radha, 51, is reportedly refusing to give her passport back, a release letter or pay for her ticket despite an outpass given to her by the Indian Embassy.

Social workers have been campaigning to raise funds or for a donation of an air-ticket so she could leave the country.

Mr Radha, who is in police custody, had arrived from Kerala on a two-year contract in 1994 to work as a housemaid for a Bahraini family.

However, she ran away from her sponsor's house a month before the contract ended and lived with a family friend.

Ms Radha has been working in various houses ever since. When the Bahrain government launched the general amnesty last year, she went to the Indian Embassy for an outpass.

However, the General Directorate of Nationality, Passport and Residence rejected the outpass as she had to get a permission letter from her sponsor.

Embassy officials reportedly told her that she could leave the country without any problems.

But her outpass was rejected for the second time and when she went to immigration for the third time on January 29, at the end of the general amnesty period, she was taken in custody.

Ms Radha's friends Edward Fernandez and P Shankar said they didn't realise she was still in custody until they were contacted by her family back home.

Mr Shankar said that she has been staying with him since 1996, when her sponsor reported her missing.

Ms Radha's only family back home is her three children - two sons aged 25 and 20, and an 18-year-old daughter - who can't afford to help her, they told the GDN.

For donations, contact Mr Fernandez on 39188926 or Pravasi Association of Angamaly and Nedumbassery vice-president George Mangali on 39900128.

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