Blue-collar workers rescue paralysed Pakistani expat from Dubai park

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Farooq: Hopes to return home by Eid.— Photo by Shihab
Farooq: Hopes to return home by Eid.- Photos by Shihab

Dubai - The 51-year-old Farooq was languishing in Karama Park after losing his job and becoming partially paralysed.

By Saman Haziq

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Published: Tue 7 May 2019, 10:00 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 May 2019, 1:00 PM

A group of blue-collar workers has opened the doors of their small apartment for a destitute man who has been lying helpless in a park for the last two weeks.
Pakistani expat Farooq Piyara Masih, 51, was languishing in the Karama Park after losing his job and becoming partially paralysed. While some park-goers asked him his story, pitied him and offered him a cup of tea, some others would abuse him for being an eyesore in their community park. Hearing about his plight, a group of young Indian men headed by Vibin, a social worker, shifted Farooq to the small room of some blue-collar workers, who happily offered to accommodate him.
Driver Khalil, a Pakistani expat, who stays with his brother and Sri Lankan expat Selwa Kumar in Al Quoz, opened his doors to accommodate the incapacitated Farooq, whose left hand and leg are paralysed due to a brain stroke he had last month.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Khalil said: "It is not about the money or house, it is about your heart and showing humanity. It amazes me how people can take care of animals and pets and fail to provide shelter to a human being who is struggling to survive, and does not have access to basic necessities such as food or water. He is paralysed and cannot even go to washroom alone. When we heard about it, we at once offered to bring him to our room."

While Khaleel and his brother have given Farooq a roof over his head and a comfortable bed, Sri Lankan expat Selwa Kumar, who works at a fast food joint, has taken charge of providing personal assistance to Farooq, who cannot even stand up on his own.
Kumar gives Farooq a shower every day before leaving for work, changes his clothes and feeds him, and after coming back from work, again checks on what Farooq needs.
Farooq's story
Farooq, who came to Dubai in 2010 as a staff in a hotel and was promoted to the post of director of sales and revenue, is now in a state of penury. He says he is to be blamed for his condition because he brought his family of six - five daughters and wife -  to Dubai and settled them here. He took loans and used credit cards mindlessly to give them good education and lifestyle. "All my five daughters were studying in schools here and to pay their fee and run the house, I had to take loans. I thought I would keep paying as my salary comes but it all got messed up when I lost my job."
Farooq is reeling under a loan of over Dh400,000 and has a court case against him, which is why he has also been imprisoned a couple of times. But since he is paralysed, he cannot be accommodated in the jail and neither in the hospital as his visa has expired and he has no medical insurance.

"I have a hearing in the court after two weeks, which is when my fate will be decided. For now, the court has said that if I can give even Dh100,000 penalty, I will be able to leave the country."
Issuing a statement to Khaleej Times, Press councilor of Pakistan Consulate in Dubai said that they have looked into Farooq's case and have referred it to the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation for necessary action.
"I don't know what good I did in my life that I bumped into these workers who are taking care of me just like my family. In fact, I am overwhelmed by the way all of them, especially Selwa, are taking care of me. He combs my hair, gives me a shower, changes my clothes, takes me to the washroom, while the rest arrange food for me and have given me a comfortable bed to sleep. I am grateful to them that even without knowing me, they have accommodated me and make me feel at home. I just hope my case gets resolved and I can go home by Eid," said Farooq.

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