Abu Dhabi: A 47-year-old Indian national, who was stranded in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) without any documents, was repatriated home after 18 years with the help of authorities and social workers.
Sunil Kumar, who hails from the Thrissur district of Kerala, had arrived in Emirates in 2005 to work as a foreman.
Soon after, Sunil lost his job and encountered a financial crisis. His passport had expired in 2007, but he was able to get an emergency certificate from the Indian Consulate in Dubai.
At that time, his health deteriorated, and he could not go back home when amnesty was granted.
As per a report by Gulf News, Sunil’s case was reported to Praveen Kumar, a social worker volunteering for the Indian Consulate in Dubai, by Ratheesh Edathitta, Vice President of the Indian People’s Forum in Ajman.
They then submitted an application to the Consulate for an emergency certificate. The consulate had to confirm Sunil’s details with the passport office in Kochi because his prior passport was unreadable. In October 2023 another emergency certificate was issued.
Sunil’s health worsened, leading to his collapse at his bed in Sharjah.
In December, social workers submitted necessary documents to the consulate for financial support for repatriation, and funds were approved for a non-medical escort with a wheelchair ticket to Kochi.
According to Praveen, Sunil’s overstay fines were forgiven by the authorities and an outpass was issued for repatriation.
On Thursday, January 4, Sunil was repatriated to Kerala and admitted to Thrissur Medical College after arriving at Cochin International Airport with the assistance of Norka, the Non-Resident Keralites Affairs department.
In September 2023, a 49-year-old Indian national, Muhsin, who was stranded in the UAE after allegedly losing his documents and belongings, was repatriated to Kerala, India, with the assistance of local social workers.