How a distressed patient sent a help sign to Indian Embassy from 1500 km away

Jeddah: The plight of an impaired person who is confined to the bed in a hospital and inability to convey or relay the language or show any kind of sign following serious stroke is hard to narrate yet he was on the bed for over a year in a remote desert town in Saudi Arabia with only hope that someone would hear and send him to his home in India on one day.

Finally, his plea reached about 1500 KM away at the Indian Embassy in Riyadh that took him to his family and made the reunion.

56-year-old Shaikh Dastagir, native of Madanapalle town in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh was admitted into a hospital in desert town of Nariyah in Eastern Province in Saudi Arabia following brain hemorrhage as result of hypertension a year ago, since then he is in a vegetative state under palliative care.

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Unable to speak or move he was confined to bed since then. There were no friends nor any relatives including employer for Dastagir, there was no single visitor nor any enquiry about him.

Sneha and Anu – Indian nurses hailing from Kerala- not only serve him as part of their job but go a mile extra to render humanitarian assistance and often console him with signs.

Iqama and Passport of Dastagir expired and even he was declared as Huroob – absconder – thus complicated his repatriation thus delayed his discharge from the hospital.

On other hand, the patient’s family back home in Madanapalle town of Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh was worrying about their sole breadwinner as there were no calls nor any message from him.

Hamed Al Qaitani, hospital director, drew the attention of his higher officials. The Saudi authorities contacted the Indian Embassy in Riyadh through official channels to repatriate the patient. The ministry of health, foreign affairs and Governorate officials involved in the process.

The poor family was informed about the condition of Dastagir and it expressed its inability to bear any cost of airfare or treatment owing to poverty reasons.

The battery of Indian diplomats led by M.R. Sajeev worked hard to coordinate the repatriation efforts as result of Huroob case and expiry of document in addition to medical evacuation where it required acceptance letter from disembarkation point hospital.

Like these, the Indian embassy reaches its destitute compatriots far-flung remote deserts based

KMCC – the foremost expatriate welfare organization in Saudi Arabia – volunteered to assist in repatriation that goes through multiple places from remote town of Nariyah to Riyadh, from there to New Delhi then Bengaluru and finally Madanapalle.

Ansari, Mahbub, Siddik Tuvoor with the support of Telugu social worker Muzammil Shaikh coordinated the departure and finally the patient has reached his family.

Indian Embassy bore the cost of repatriation including escort along with the patient while AP NRT organization – AP state government arm to deal with NRI affairs – provided the ambulance service from airport to patient native place.

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