Team Blitz India
NEW DELHI: A 47-year-old Indian national, who found himself stranded in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) without any documents, has been successfully repatriated home after 18 years with the collaborative efforts of authorities and social workers.
Sunil Kumar, a resident of the Thrissur district in Kerala, had initially arrived in the Emirates in 2005 to work as a foreman. Unfortunately, Sunil lost his job, plunging him into a financial crisis. Despite his passport expiring in 2007, he managed to obtain an emergency certificate from the Indian Consulate in Dubai.
During this period, Sunil’s health deteriorated, preventing him from returning home even during amnesty periods. The unreadable state of his prior passport necessitated the Consulate’s confirmation with the passport office in Kochi for the issuance of another emergency certificate in October 2023.
Facing a health crisis and collapsing in Sharjah, Sunil’s case was reported to Praveen Kumar, a social worker volunteering for the Indian Consulate, by Ratheesh Edathitta, vice- president of the Indian People’s Forum in Ajman. In December, social workers submitted necessary documents for financial support for repatriation, and funds were approved for a non-medical escort with a wheelchair ticket to Kochi.
Praveen noted that Sunil’s overstay fines were pardoned by the authorities, and an outpass was issued for his repatriation. On January 4, with the assistance of Norka, the Non-Resident Keralites Affairs department, Sunil was repatriated to Kerala and admitted to Thrissur Medical College.
This success story echoes a similar instance in September 2023 when a 49-year-old Indian national named Muhsin, stranded in the UAE due to alleged document and belongings loss, was repatriated to Kerala with the aid of local social workers.