Singapore | Asia Samachar | 6 May 2015
Kawaljeet Kaur, an Indian foreign domestic worker in Singapore, is lying in bed after suffering a clot in the brain. She has undergone an initial surgery, but the 27 year old maid from Amritsar is far from full recovery.
She is now in the intensive care unit (ICU) of Changi General Hospital, possibly having to undergo more surgeries for the brain aneurysm she suffered.
In the meantime, there is the issue of paying her bills, which may run to many times more than the SG$15,000 that she is said to be covered under her insurance scheme.
Kawaljeet, 27, works for an Indian expat family identified as Navin Sharma and his wife Manisha Joshi Sharma.
“We are a group of Indian expats living in Singapore who know Manisha and Navin from years and are trying our best to create awareness about this case so as to reach as many people as we can to generate funds for Kawal jeet’s treatment as well as post recovery support,” according to an entry dated May 5 in the Facebook page called ‘Help Kawaljeet Kaur’.
Sikh Sewaks Singapore is chipping in making a call to funds via GiveAsia, an online fund raising platform. See here.
Asia Samachar has checked with an volunteer at the Singapore-based Sikh organisation who confirmed that the organisation is involved, but admitted that the case is ‘a little tricky’ since ‘its responsibility of employer to cover the expenses’.
“But given that employer couldn’t, the Sangat [congregation] is coming in to support through Sikh Sewaks,” he told Asia Samachar.
In the GiveAsia brief, it says: “She is covered via FDW insurance but only upto a limit of SG$15000. Based on initial estimates from hospital and doctors, her hospital costs may be between 50-100k, before she is discharged and ready to travel.” FDW is short for foreign domestic worker.
On the employer, it says: “As with many such cases, Kawal is the only breadwinner in her family as her father is bedridden, and younger brother in school.” However, they did not mention what he does in Singapore.
“All contributions will go to the Sikh Sewaks Singapore bank account and will be used to pay the hospital bills. Excess funds will be given to Kawal’s family for her care,” it adds.
Some have raised objections via the social media.
“This responsibility is for the employer’s to carry and solved,” says a reader Shin in response when the story was carried by Yahoo Singapore.
“Just because the bills are too high; they are seeking to raise fund through the web social media and expect the world to fund their bills – I think they just want to shun the responsibility and take up the medical bills as an employer – just like any SMEs that hire foreign workers.”
A Facebook user by the handle Lana Raj did not mince her words in her attack on the employers.
“Stingy employers, would insure their helpers with the lowest scheme, hence the 15K insurance amount. Just because the bills are too high and you wanted to save money on insurance, you expect others to pay it for you at times like this?,” she wrote.
“It just seems like you are avoiding this responsibility of yours to pay for the bill at the expense of your expatriate life. Like I said before, you are an expat living in a condo. Pretty sure you earn enough to pay for these bills,” she added.
[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE! Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com]
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