Red tape causes problems for bereaved kins of NRIs

The distraught families struggling to relocate with dreams shattered and studies abruptly stopped

By   |  Published: 1st Oct 2020  12:05 amUpdated: 30th Sep 2020  9:50 pm

Jeddah: Dealing with the loss of a loved one is difficult enough. Add to it the required legal formalities that need to be completed is a daunting task for foreign workers in gulf countries.

The tragedy and trauma begin in the bereaved family only after the death, when they run for help for repatriation or burial of their loved ones. Their situation is worse, as everything starting from bank account, vehicle ownership to their children’s studies, travel back home to India is linked with the visa. The condition of studying children is challenging as they have to leave the studies abruptly and move to their motherland amid the academic year.

The distraught families of Mohammed Ashfaque Sayeed and K Satyanarayana in Dammam exemplify the trauma bereaved NRI families are undergoing abroad. The family of late Mohammed Ashfaque Sayeed, long time NRI hailing from Ali Colony nearby Shama talkies in Hyderabad, is yet to come to terms with loss of their head. Ashfaque died of Covid-19 recently in Dammam.

The family is passing through difficult times in saying goodbye to the country where they were born and lived. The dreams of children shattered as soon as their father died. Ashfaque’s wife and four sons were living along with him as dependents under his visa. Since Ashfaque visa will be cancelled following the death, all his dependent family members’ visas will be also cancelled and they are required to leave the country.

Hisham Abdul Rafe, eldest son, student of 12th Class of CBSE in Indian School in Dammam, is in a quandary as he has to leave the country in the middle of the academic year. His three other siblings also caught in similar situation.

Coping with the loss of their family head, the family got entangled in a lengthy process to sell the cars owned by Ashfaque, closing the bank account. Finding a new school in Hyderabad and transferring there is not easy either.

The story of Sanjana Shivani and her mother is no different from Ashfaque and is even more painful. The wife and two daughters of K Satyanarayana of Vijayawada, also a long time NRI in Dammam, did not realise that their circumstances would change in a snap.

Satyanarayana travelled alone to Hyderabad on a short vacation to meet his son, an engineering student, prior to suspension of international flights. He contracted coronavirus and died in Gandhi Hospital on September 8.

Since, his wife and daughter are stranded in Saudi. The family is unable to travel to India to have a last glimpse of their beloved one, as they do not know about the late NRI sponsor. Now frantically working to sort out legal formalities and return home.

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