Dubai: A ten-month-old Indian boy whose mother died while on a visit to Dubai has been reunited with his father back home, thanks to a community effort.
Devesh Velavan was accompanying his mum Bharathi, who had travelled from their home state of Tamil Nadu to Dubai on a visit visa to look for a job around two months ago. She fell ill and was hospitalised. Her friend, meanwhile, cared for Devesh at her Dubai home. Bharathi’s husband Velavan Raju, 38, could not travel to Dubai because of the then restriction on passengers from India due the COVID-19 situation in India.
On May 29, Bharathi passed away from her illness and was cremated in Dubai. She was 38 years old. Bharathi leaves behind her husband, Devesh and another son, aged seven. The couple had a 13-year-old son who passed away last year after an illness.
The plight of the family came to the attention of S.S. Meeran, an Indian expat in Dubai, who is the local head of DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam), a political party in Tamil Nadu.
Meeran said: “Through the Consulate General of India in Dubai, we came to know the plight of the family. I took on the responsibility to repatriate Devesh at my own expense, though the Indian consulate was ready to bear the expenses. I arranged for [a volunteer] to accompany Devesh back home, after a No Objection Certificate and authorisation from the consulate.”
Meeran had also offered, as a token of appreciation, a cash gift to the woman who had looked after Devesh in Dubai. However, she did not accept it.
Devesh Velavan with his father Velavan Raju.
Image Credit: Supplied
Devesh was reunited with his father and brother at Trichy Airport, Tamil Nadu, amid emotional scenes on June 17. Meeran said: “I was so happy to see [pictures of] Devesh playing with his father and brother again after this difficult time.”
Meeran added that he had brought the plight of the family to the attention of the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, M.K. Stalin, who instructed him to take care of Devesh and reunite him with this family back in India. The Tamil Nadu government granted Rs300,000 (around Dh14,800) as immediate relief for Velavan on the instruction of the chief minister, Meeran added.
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“We have also arranged a job for Velavan, who may join in a month’s time, in the hotel industry. He is very thankful,” Meeran said, adding: “I would like to thank the Indian consulate officials and senior community leader in the UAE Puspakaran and Kerala social worker Nasser who helped to complete the formalities to repatriate Devesh.”