Sharjah: An Indian family of four, including an elderly woman who has run out of medicines and her grandson turning two next month, is among a set of Indian visitors who have been stranded in the UAE.
Speaking to Gulf News from Sharjah, Victor Solanki from Mumbai said he and his family of three had come to the UAE on a visit.
A security manager, Solanki said he wanted to take up a job in Dubai.
“I arrived on March 5 looking for a job on a three month visit visa, whereas my family came here on March 10 on a one-month tourist visa.”
He said his wife, a teacher who quit her job when their son was born, also wanted to try her luck in getting a job here during their stay.
He said the family had return tickets for April 7, a day before the expiry of their visas, while his ticket was booked for April 19. “However, due to COVID-19, flights were stopped all of a sudden. We couldn’t fly back. Now we are stuck here in a very bad situation.”
Though he has managed to reschedule all of their tickets to May 1, he said the family is running out of money while his mother’s stock of medicine has depleted. With one of the medicine she was taking not available here, she was suffering from inflammation.
“An alternate medicine we took from the pharmacy is not helping her. She has swelling on her face and limbs. I am afraid to take her to a hospital in the current situation.”
He said his young son is also getting cranky.
“I am tense. I have called the Indian Consulate. They told me until further notice all flights are cancelled and I have to wait till the lockdown ends in India.”
“I have only Dh900 left with me. It is difficult to survive with limited money in hand. We have rationed our food. I don’t know how many more days we can survive like this.”
“We don’t have any friends and family to look after us in this tough time. We are not blaming any government. If our return cannot be arranged, please someone help arrange a job for me so that my family can survive,” he pleaded.
Couple waiting to go back
In another case, M.K. Mohammed Kunhi, 65, from Kasaragod district in Kerala is in a hurry to return home. It has been almost four months now since he left his house in Kerala.
Kunhi, a retired lawyer and his wife Arifa, 55, arrived in Dubai on December 21, on a visit visa. The visa expired on March 29 and the couple had a return flight booked for March 28. But with the UAE suspending all inbound and outbound passenger flights, the couple are stuck in the country indefinitely.
Although they are staying with their daughters in Dubai, Kunhi said it is time for them to go back home.
“My wife and I are both diabetic patients. My wife also has high blood pressures. In such a situation, we feel it is important that we should be in our home country. I don’t want either of us to fall sick and cause any trouble to our daughters. Besides, we both brought enough medicines for only three months. Our extended stay means we have had to purchase medicines here and it is very expensive.”
Kunhi said he spends around Rs600 (Dh30) for the couple’s medicines in a month, while the same medicines are costing him Dh400 here. “All this is causing us inconvenience. Besides our house in Kerala is locked up. We hope the government does something to take back visitors stuck here in the UAE.”
– with inputs from Anjana Kumar, Chief Reporter