Jeddah: A poor dalit man, who had not travelled home even once in the past 13 years only to save enough money for the marriages of his two daughters, finally returned home recently after losing his job amid the pandemic and due to failing health. Sandhigalla Krishnaih of Gandiveedu mandal in Mahbubnagar district had come to Oman in 1997 to work as labourer in a construction firm where he had worked for two years then fled and became an illegal resident in the country since then.
Without a stable income, Krishnaih’s family was wallowing in poverty and he was worried about the expenses and dowry for his daughters’ marriage.
Dowry, a widely spread social illness, is a nightmare for poor parents with daughters, and this has forced many of them to explore work opportunities in Gulf countries. It is also one of the reasons several poverty-stricken expatriates stay back in desert countries irrespective of their legal status and ill health as long as they can so that they can save up something for their family.
Like many others, Krishnaih remained in the country despite having his residency documents expired with the sole goal of marrying off his daughters. Though his family back home in the village faced social stigma due to his long absence, Krishnaih was adamant in his task of saving money.
However, covid-19 has shattered his plans. He had not only lost the job during the pandemic but also struggled for the food. Krishnaih’s health started to deteriorate and was diagnosed with TB and he was unable to work like before. But returning home was also not an easy option for him either as his visa expired long ago and he was living in the country contrary to rules.
Krishnaih’s plight was highlighted by his family in the village through social media that has come into the notice of prominent Telangana social worker Narendra Panniru in Muscat. Krishnaih was provided food and medical treatment for the last six months by Telangana Friends in Oman, a NRI oganisation in Muscat, till the legal process completed for his travel back home, said Panniru.
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