Dispatch from Dubai: ‘I’m Pregnant, Have an Expired Visa’

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A grim database has emerged amid pandemic from Dubai where hundreds of stranded Kashmiris are sending fervent appeals to New Delhi for immediate evacuation. But as the help remains elusive till date, the distressing details sent home make their experience look harrowing and haunting.

Jyotsna Bharti

MOST of them had left home to flip their fate and fortune in Gulf, but now have no active income during pandemic lockdown.

Stranded in Dubai and grappling with high living costs, they’ve fared in the emergency list prepared to support the stranded Kashmiris.

Some of these distressed Kashmiris are battling health ailments, while others are losing their mental calm over their lost jobs, and some medical emergencies in their home.

Some dispatched details in the distressed database are telling:

“I’m falling to mental depression, as I don’t have any job…”

“I recently lost my wife due to Covid-19…”

“I’m pregnant and have an expired visa…”

“I was here on a job visit and now I am stranded…”

“My diabetes mother is sick since pandemic lockdown…”

“My visa has been cancelled…”

“I got an injury in my back and need emergency medical treatment…”

“I am a PCOD patient. I’ve to consult my doctor…”

“My company terminated my contract…”

“Help me, I’ve a medical emergency at home….”

These SOS messages are pouring in at a time when pandemic has created a hostage-crisis kind of situation in the world.

Sensing the emergency, many expat Kashmiris have come to the rescue of their stranded brethren, numbered over 800, in Dubai.

They include elderly, kids, pregnant women and other patients suffering from different ailments including mental health issues and people losing their spouses to Covid-19.

“The number of people is increasing day by day,” said one Kashmiri Samaritan working for evacuation plan for these stranded people.

“A lot of them need medical assistance urgently. There’re pregnant ladies, unemployed people who have no money left, and are fighting their way out to live in one of the expensive countries.”

These helpless people have pleaded with New Delhi to evacuate them from Dubai and other parts of the UAE and grant them with a direct flight to Srinagar.

But the Indian government officials, they say, have not made any statement or contacted them yet.

“I was informed by the Indian Consulate in Dubai that travel will be facilitated only up to New Delhi,” Shakeel Ahmad, a representative of stranded Kashmiris, told Kashmir Observer.

“We fear that incoming Kashmiris will be quarantined in an ‘unfavourable’ atmosphere there and that would be beyond the patience of elders and pregnant women.”

Moreover, he said, the high temperature in Delhi is an additional problem for many.

“These stranded Kashmiris should be airlifted directly to Srinagar after which they will voluntarily put themselves before authorities for medical formalities,” Shakeel said.

Another welfare worker told Kashmir Observer that if the Indian government won’t prioritize the issue despite approaching Indian Consulate in Dubai then these stranded Kashmiris will be forced to contact media in UAE about “this seemingly deliberate delay”.

“Jammu and Kashmir administration doesn’t seem to take any concrete steps so far,” he said. “It’s a matter of two or three flights only that could be operated from Dubai to Srinagar directly.”

But as the official help remains elusive till date, most of these Kashmiris are becoming hopeless and losing their mental calm in the state of protracted lockdown away from the home.

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Jyotsna Bharti

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