UAE: Tears of joy as man found unconscious on street reunites with family in India

Sharjah - Social workers and philanthropists came to his rescue.

By Saman Haziq

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Published: Wed 28 Apr 2021, 3:46 AM

Sick, stranded and broke. This is how a 38-year-old worker, hailing from the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, was found as he lay unconscious on a street in Sharjah last month.

But thanks to the timely help of a few social workers and philanthropists from the state of Karnataka, as well as the Indian consulate, the distressed worker has now not only received care, but also been safely repatriated to his hometown in India.

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Found in a state of delirium, Indian expatriate Chhangur Prasad was picked up by Sharjah Police, who admitted him at Al Qasimi Hospital. There, it was discovered that the man had tumours in his brain and chest, apart from other ailments.

Upon learning of his plight, social worker Shirali Shaikh Muzaffer took it upon himself to follow up on Prasad's health and progress. “I found out that the father-of-four had paid a fortune to a so-called recruitment agent, who brought him to the UAE after promising him a job," he told Khaleej Times.

"The latter then dumped him in a small apartment with several workers and vanished, leaving them to fend for themselves. Desperate for a job, Prasad set out to look for the agent but could not find him. He ended up collapsing on the street."

After being admitted to the hospital, Muzaffer said philanthropist businessman Yusuf Bermaver paid for Prasad’s medicines, while he and another social worker, Hidayath Addoor, requested the hospital to waive off the worker’s hospital bill. "They did so partially and we are grateful for that. The rest of the bill was taken care of by Prasad’s insurance and us social workers,” he explained.

Since Prasad was showing no signs of improvement, however, doctors suggested that he be flown back to his home country and admitted to a cancer hospital where he could be treated.

Joining hands with the social workers, chairman of UAE-based Fortune group of hotels and president of the Karnataka Non-resident Indian Forum (KNRI) Praveen Kumar Shetty offered Prasad a free stay in his hotel till such time as his health improved and he was fit to travel back home.

Since Prasad was unable to walk or take care of himself, Muzaffer contacted his family in India and arranged for his brother-in-law to fly to the UAE to take care of him.

With the help of social workers who visited him daily, Prasad began gaining strength, thanks to a combination of comfortable stay, nutritional food and medications.

The next big challenge that the social workers faced was to send Prasad home as he had lost his passport, which he said the agent had confiscated. Elaborating, Addoor said: “We took up the documentation work with the Consulate General of India in Dubai where Jitender Singh Negi, Consul (Consular and Madad) from the consulate, and social worker Girish Pant helped with the process of providing necessary emergency permits so that he could travel to India.”

Emotional scenes unfolded at the airport as a wheelchair-bound Prasad was escorted by social workers to board his flight. Wiping his tears of gratitude, he thanked the Indian consulate and social workers for their support.

"We are glad that Prasad is now back with his family in India, where he will begin treatment. He even sent us a happy picture of himself with his family upon reaching home,” Addoor said.

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