New York- National Domestic Workers Alliance and United Workers Congress are going to Indian Consulates at Noon today, December 20th in New York City and in San Francisco, California at 9:30 AM to protest the exploitation and mistreatment of a domestic worker, Ms. Sangeeta Richard by her employer, the Deputy Consul General of India Ms. Devyani Khobragade.
According to details Ms. Khobragade who is also a women's rights activist, was recently arrested by U.S. Diplomatic Security Service agents for paying Ms. Richard a mere $3.31 per hour and making a false statement on the visa application which stated the pay to be $10 an hour.
She is free on a $250,000 bail and face 10 years in prison if convicted.
The arrest has also caused quite a rift between the two countries with India asking the U.S. Government to drop the prosecution of Ms. Khobragade.
Indian Government has retaliated by revoking the ID cards of the US diplomats in the country and removing the large concrete barriers from the front of the U.S. Embassy in New Dehli. These blocks provided a barrier against any terrorist attacks on the Embassy.
In 2011 another Indian high official Mr. Prabhu Dayal was also accused of exploiting and mistreating a domestic worker. He was the Consul General of India in New York at the time. According to New York Daily News, "he kept his domestic worker in a storage room in the E. 64th Street Consulate General building and paid her $300 a month"
According the Facebook event page of the groups that are planning to go to the Indian consulates in both cities they aim to:
- Show their support for the affected worker, Ms. Sangeeta Richard.
- To demand that the Indian government prosecute Ms. Khobragade and take action against any other unscrupulous employers
- To demand the Indian Government to publicly recognize the rights of domestic workers and ratify the ILO Convention 189
- To demand the Indian Government to compensate Ms. Sangeeta Richard in this case and her family in India.
Those looking to attend or need more information can contact Yomara Velez @ 404-337-8722 (New York) and Jill Shenker @ 415-225-5685 (San Francisco).