With the UAE being hit by the massive COVID-19 pandemic, Indian migrants in the UAE are queuing up outside the Indian consulate to try and get back to their motherland – India. Thousands of blue- and white-collar workers are unable to deal with the financial crisis and medical emergencies arising due to COVID-19. “I haven’t been paid for the last two months,” says one worker. “I need money to buy a ticket to get back home,” says another. “My wife is thirty-two weeks pregnant and we cannot afford to get the child delivered in the UAE. I have no job and no money. It’s a very difficult situation for me.”
These Indian expatriates have found a helping hand in entrepreneur Dr. Dhananjay Datar from Maharashtra, India. The man behind the Al-Adil group of companies in the UAE has sponsored the travel of more than 3000 Indians to India thus far besides their COVID-19 tests, medical emergencies and food needs wherever necessary. And as we speak, is working on sending the next set of Indians home.
An award-winning entrepreneur, Datar is known for his brand association with actors like Vidya Balan, Karishma Kapoor, Sunny Leone, Juhi Chawla, Shilpa Shetty and Madhuri Dixit among many others. In fact, his autobiography was launched two years ago by Madhuri. This time around, Datar is being touted as his actions make him no less than a star himself. But the earthy entrepreneur dismisses the accolades with his statement. “It is one of the largest emergency evacuations and all hands need to be on deck. As a fellow Indian, I am simply doing what I can.”
“This effort of Datar comes as a breath of fresh air in these times of masked existence,” avers H.E. Vipul, Consulate General of India in Dubai, U.A.E. “We have already sent eleven flights to India. Five of them have repatriated over 3000 Indians. I am glad that Dhananjay Datar of Al-Adil group came forward to sponsor the air tickets and COVID-19 tests. Such support is always welcome.”
Adds Datar, “I understand that many individuals who have lost their jobs are unable to make use of this initiative to go to their hometown since they do not have the money required. I will be coordinating with the approved bodies to extend a helping hand to those in need. All necessary guidelines in connection with this will be strictly followed. I am thankful to those who are involved in the repatriation process.”
Next on the cards are 13-14 flights that would bring more expats back home. While on Indian grounds, an actor like Sonu Sood has made migrants feel safe and respected, Datar seems to be performing a similar laudable effort. He has not just helped medical and travel for the next 50 poor workers from Telangana, but got them.monthly ration down to the last bit of cooking oil. “They are our fellow Indians in a foreign country. They need our support,” he says simply. “As flights will start to Goa, Lucknow, Jaipur and Chandigarh, we will send people home.
Maharashtra will take some time but before anyone leaves this soil, we ensure their COVID19 test is done so that the government has least stress back home abd they can be on home quarantine,” he adds.
Incidentally, Al-Adil Trading LLC is one of the leading manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers of premium Indian pulses, spices, foodstuffs, groceries, branded items and assorted non-food items, has 34 outlets in the GCC and India. His group employs 500 employees directly and 370 in the UAE and India, essentially gives job opportunities to Indians, aids farmers by eliminating the process of middlemen in terms of procurement.
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