Dubai, Oct 22, 2020: Indian expats in the UAE banded together to repatriate an elderly couple, who have been struggling in deep debt after the company the man worked with went bust in 2014.
Mrs. & Mr Srinivasan, an elderly couple stranded in Dubai for over 5 years due to various legal issues were repatriated to India yesterday with Consulate assistance. Thanks to Mr Siddhartha Balachandran of BUIMERC and Tamil Ladies Association for their support. @IndembAbuDhabi pic.twitter.com/7R9yyBF3kz— India in Dubai (@cgidubai) October 20, 2020
Srinivasan, 67, and Radhika, 62, from the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu had lived a happy and comfortable life for about three decades in the UAE. However, the couple’s fate changed after the company, where Srinivasan had worked as the general manager, was shut 2014, according to the community members and the Indian Consulate in Dubai who supported their repatriation on Monday.
“He stayed on here even after he lost the job as they faced a rental case which they couldn’t settle for years. Because of that there was a travel ban on him. Since 2016, they had been staying without visas and he had developed heart disease also,” a consulate official said. The couple could not be reached for comments in India.
Meenakumari Pathmanathan, president of Tamil Ladies Association (TLA) in Dubai, said she was contacted by the consulate to help arrange community support for the elderly couple after they were seen in dire straits following years of distress.
One meal a day
“When their case came to me in August, they were living in a miserable state,” she told Gulf News on Wednesday. “They were buying one meal and sharing it for two times a day. They had already been thrown out of the company accommodation for which they were facing the rental case for Dh190,000.”
She said the members of the association supported the couple to arrange a low-cost accommodation in Karama and Sri Aiswariya Vegetarian Restaurant in Karama provided free food for them since then.
“Uma Shankari Krishnamoorthy, who is part of the Dubai Computer Group, negotiated with the real estate company and helped to reduce the rental dues to Dh50,000,” she said. Community members and another businessman Siddharth Balachandran helped settle the amount and close the case.
Community volunteers, Senthil Prabakaran and Subramanian Ganapathy, supported the couple in doing the paper works to clear their issues and the Lions Club sponsored their tickets though the consulate had offered them tickets, said Pathmanathan.
The consulate issued an emergency certificate, a one-way travel document, for Srinivasan and also renewed the passport of Radhika. The couple were repatriated on Monday.
Though the couple has two daughters living in the UK and the man’s brother lives in India, Pathmanathan said, none of them was in a position to help the couple tide over their crisis.
“We were told that they were all having a tough time and not able to help the couple. We felt sympathetic because they were struggling a lot and his (Srinivasan’s) aged parents were requesting to send them back. Unfortunately, his mother passed away almost a month ago and his father was hospitalised for some time also. We hope they have some peace of mind after reaching the father in India.”