Riyadh: For 15 years, he was living illegally in Gulf and had sadly ignored his family back home in India and eventually breathed his last.
The story of 48-year-old Palamakula Sataiah, native of Laxmipur village in Karimnagar district, who died on July 31, 2017 in a hospital in Oman is not an isolated incident. It reflects the poor condition of many Telangana workers living in the Gulf. Sataiah’s labour card expired 14 years ago in Oman. Though the Sultanate had announced two general amnesties, 2010 and 2015, for illegal foreign workers, he chose to continue living there illegally by doing odd jobs.
“I can’t exactly remember my father’s face as I haven’t seen him in the last 15 years,” said 20-year-old Ramesh, Sataiah’s youngest son. He has two elder sisters.
Speaking to Telangana Today, he said his family had suffered a lot due to the absence of its head. Ramesh said, “We have lost communication with him (father), as he was hardly making any phone calls to enquire about our wellbeing and was rarely sending money for our needs.”
He added, “Since we know that he was Qalli Walli – commonly known term in Arabic for absconder and residency law violator in Gulf, we didn’t expect money from him but he was not willing to return home.” He said that after his father’s death, they had to struggle to seek repatriation of his mortal remains from Oman. Ramesh said, “We know it is difficult to bring his body as he was Qalli Walli.”
Sataiah was rushed to hospital in Muscat when he suffered partial paralysis in the last week of July. He died after a brief treatment, said Polasani Lingaih, an entrepreneur who hails from Nizamabad and longtime resident in Oman, who is trying to help the family.
Back home in Telangana, the family is assisted by N Devender Reddy of Teguva organisation, an NRI association in Hyderabad. Sataiah was admitted to the hospital by a Telangana NRI who later switched off his mobile and vanished, said sources in Muscat. This incident is not a first of its kind. Earlier, an NRI worker from Rajanna Sirciilla who was living in the Gulf for 22 years died and his body was repatriated after hectic efforts.