Indian national returns home after 31 years in Saudi Arabia: Embassy

"He recently approached the Embassy through community volunteers & was also not in good health," the embassy said on Thursday.

Balachandran Pillai, an Indian national who has been stranded in Saudi Arabia for 31 years, is travelling to India on Thursday, November 16.

Taking to X, the Indian Embassy in Saudi Arabia said, “Mr Balachandran Pillai has not been to 🇮🇳 since 1992 due to some legal issues. He recently approached the Embassy through community volunteers & was also not in good health.”

“Embassy got him medical treatment & secured Exit for him. Today he travels to 🇮🇳 finally after 31 years.”

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According to the Malayalam daily Asianet News, Balachandran, a native of Punalur, Kollam, came to Al Kharj in Riyadh in 1992 to work as an electrician and a plumber.

After the first three years of his arrival, his sponsor died and he lost his passport along with the expiration of the Iqama period. Post that, Balachandran worked in Riyadh without the documents.

He faced legal complications during the COVID-19 pandemic and was unable to seek proper treatment due to a lack of necessary documents and insurance. He survived COVID-19 by self-medication, but couldn’t recover.

Recently, one of his friends reported his severe situation to Keli Kala and Culture Vedi workers, who admitted him to Hayat National Hospital in Riyadh and informed the Indian Embassy.

The embassy’s intervention ensured his full treatment and transferred him to King Saud Medical City.

Keli Charity Wing sought to correct Balachandran’s Saudi Arabian record, but the Labour Court rejected it twice. But on the third attempt, the authorities agreed to allow him to leave once his health improves.

It is reported that Keli activists plan to transfer Balachandran to an old age home under the Kerala government, citing his family’s complaint of inadequate protection 31 years ago.

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