Udayavni Special

COVID-19 lockdown: Indian job-seekers stranded in UAE, eager to return home


PTI, Apr 17, 2020, 2:41 PM IST

Dubai: Several Indian job-seekers stranded in the UAE due to travel restrictions amid the COVID-19 outbreak are running out of money and desperately want to return home, according to a media report.

“Shahanad Pulukkool, 26, a driver from Kannoor district of Kerala, whose visit visa expired on April 1,” said he is staying with four others in a one-bedroom apartment in Hor Al Anz,” the Gulf news reported.

“My brother is leasing the apartment. Owing to the unusual situation we are all in, four others have joined us in the apartment. My brother who works as a driver is taking care of us,” he said.

Pulukkool said that he came here looking for a job as a driver, but to no avail. “I just want to go home now. I don’t want to be a burden on my brother,” the paper quoted him as saying.

Pulukkool is among several other Indians who came to the UAE to seek employment and now eagerly waiting to return home as they are living off the generosity of Good Samaritans with little or no money left with them,” he said.

Shaukat Ali, 29, also from Kannoor district in Kerala who also lives with Pulukkool and his brother said had been shortlisted for a job but due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the company put hiring on hold.

“My visa expires in May end but I see no point in staying here. I am embarrassed to live off someone and want to go back, Ali said.

Mahesh Purwa, 30, who is worried about his situation. His visit visa expired on March 30 and he was scheduled to fly out of the UAE on March 25.

I heard the overstay fines will be waived off, but I would rather be back in my home country now. Purwa is staying with a friend, but he says he does not want to be a burden on him for long.

Musaddique M, 27, also from Kerala, said he wants to return home as he sees no point waiting around and looking for a job.

According to travel agents and social workers, there are several more such stranded visitors in the UAE, the paper said. Saifuddin Chappan of Travel House said the company is also receiving calls every day from people asking when the rules will change.

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