Away from hometown Satara, stranded in Dubai during coronavirus

Kushal B shares his experience of losing it all due to the pandemic far away from home.

Credit : Indie Journal

The Coronavirus pandemic has not just been about positive cases, deaths but also about losing jobs and in some extreme cases losing a roof over your head. Kushal B shares his experience of losing it all due to the pandemic far away from home in a new country.

A 31-year-old Health and Safety Professional from Satara Maharashtra, with a wife and one year daughter, was in Dubai when the pandemic struck. “Ever since the pandemic began in Dubai, it was a pandemonium, where several people were in the fear of losing jobs. I never thought I would too, but due mutual termination has been requested by my employer, due to the recent pandemic crisis, I had been let go. I was in shock, for I had come to work for this employer in mid-2018 and didn’t expect to be out of work like this. I had a wife and a one-year-old daughter to think of,” said Kushal via mail.

Due to the termination of his employment contract, he did not get any salary since February 2020, while he utilized all his savings for personal loans and expenses in the UAE till the month of  June.

“We had put some money on reserve and planned to utilize it for our plane ticket to Pune. At a point, I left my apartment as I couldn’t pay the rent and decided to move cheaper place unfortunately that did not go as planned and we started living in our car,” said Kushal. He spent more than 3 weeks living in the car with his wife and daughter, living off eating bread and eggs.

He tried his best to call for help from the authorities in India as well as the high commissions in UAE but there was no luck. “We were on our own and despite repeated attempts by mail and phone calls to the authorities and concerned departments about our situation, there was no help. I even applied for the repatriation flights to Pune, but no one came to help us from the authorities as well as the politicos who I asked for help,” he lamented.

Then someone suggested Kushal get in touch with the Maharashtra Mandal in Dubai and was overwhelmed with the help and warmth that poured in to help him in his situation where hundreds of people came out to help him out of his situation, one person who stood out was Ravindra Shrotriya who has set up an agricultural produce firm Veggietech in UAE.

“When I thought of the worst to happen to me, Ravi Shrotriya, came ahead to help me, by not just providing food on the table but also help me by giving me work in his company and also offered me a home, a roof for my family,” he added. 

Hemant Julka, COO, Veggitech, said, “Actually it was Ravi who heard about this incident on a WhatsApp group from Ras Al Khaimah. When he heard that there was a couple that had spent over a week living out of a car..he was literally in tears thinking about the situation given that they had a year-old baby with them. He immediately got in touch with Kushal and asked him to proceed to one of our farms in Ras Al Khaimah and organised accommodation for the family. I helped Kushal reach the farm (this was around 10 pm that night). So from the time, we heard the news to Kushal and family finding a place to stay was around 3 hours. we are delighted to onboard Kushal as our Sustainability Manager into the VeggiTech family.”