World

Help pours in for ‘poor’ Indian family of 7 in UAE

The touching story of an Indian family of seven, which was “living like prisoners” in the UAE, has led to several people coming forward with job offers and assistance from the Indian mission here.
Officials of India’s Consulate in Dubai approached the family in Sharjah on Friday and offered them help in “documentation as requested by the family”, Sumathi Vasudev, Consul (consular and labour) and Acting Consul-General of the Indian Consulate General in Dubai, told PTI.
Madhusudhanan, 60, from Kerala, and his Sri Lankan wife Rohini, 55, had claimed to be “living like prisoners” in Sharjah and sought help from the UAE government to legalise their residency status fearing arrest and deportation.
Their four daughters — Ashwathy, 29, Sangeetha, 25, Shanthi, 23, Gauri, 22 — and one son, Mithun, 21, have never been to school in their lifetime. They all are unemployed and live in a dilapidated two-bedroom house in Sharjah.
Vasudev said “four out of five children have passports. But the passports have expired since 2012. However, Madhusudhanan has a valid passport.”
“Community members have come forward and given employment offers to the children and Madhusudhanan,” Vasudev said.
On the receipt of formal (job offer) letters, the family would be approaching the Indian Consulate for renewal of their passports, she said, adding that the renewal will be done as per the Government of India procedures.
Asked how would Madhusudhanan’s wife be assisted as she is a Sri Lankan national, the official said that she will be assisted by Sri Lankan Consulate once Madhusudhanan’s status is legalised.
Earlier, Khaleej Times reported last Thursday that the family does not even have enough to eat and there are days when they have to survive on a packet of quboos (Arabic bread).
Madhusudhanan came to the UAE in 1979 as a worker. He married Rohini in 1988. All the children have been home-schooled by their mother and now can read and write.
When asked why he did not want to leave the country by availing the general amnesty declared in 2003, 2007 and 2013, Madhusudhanan had said he did not want to split his family.
“How could I go to India leaving my wife behind? She is a Sri Lankan and does not have an Indian passport. My children are attached to their mother and they cannot live without her. I had to stay to keep my family together,” he had said.
The couple said they hope to legalise their status and enrol children in some vocational courses as they have lived in the UAE for nearly four decades.