Freedom of undocumented Indian worker granted amnesty in Oman proves short-lived

Energy Monday 10/April/2017 22:10 PM
By: Times News Service
Freedom of undocumented Indian worker granted amnesty in Oman proves short-lived

Muscat: A bedridden mother-of-two, who had returned to India from Oman under an amnesty scheme and thanked the kindness of Oman’s residents, has passed away at her home in India.
On May 13, 2015, the Times of Oman had published the story of Sakthidasan Arumugam, his bedridden wife Bebi Rani and their two children.
All were undocumented and overstaying in Oman and were struggling to buy food and medicines.
However, when the Times of Oman reported about Arumugam and his family’s story, help had started to pour in.
Oman’s amnesty programme, under which illegal workers can return home without punishment, helped the family go back to India with the help of social workers and embassy officials.
Arumugam’s wife Bebi, who was bedridden, passed away on Sunday morning in India, her husband told the Times of Oman.
“When we were in Oman, I was not able to provide her with timely medical attention as we lacked valid resident papers and money. It has cost me a lot now.
“She was not well when we returned. On Sunday morning, she passed away leaving me and children alone,” Arumugam said.
“Slowly, we were coming back to life. But I never thought that this would happen to her,” he added.
While living in Oman as an undocumented family, Bebi gave birth to her second child in the accommodation where they were staying without any proper medical assistance.
“I had to take care of everything. As we didn’t have any valid residency papers, I couldn’t take her to hospital.
“Moreover, as I didn’t have money, I couldn’t buy her medicines. Lack of support at that time had affected her health condition a lot. Since then, she was not well. And now...she has left us alone...,” Arumugam added.
Arumugam came to Oman from the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu in 2010 after paying Rs100,000 (approximately OMR600) to an agent to get a job in Oman. His salary was around OMR45 and he was not getting paid regularly.
“The sponsor used to give me a month’s salary once in four or five months. This disturbed me and therefore, I left that place and found a new place to work as a domestic worker. It is there that I met Bebi Rani and fell in love with her,” Arumugam said.
Bebi had come to Oman from the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh and was working as a housemaid.
“She fell in love with me. We decided to live together. After a year, she delivered our first boy. The Almighty gave us a physically challenged boy, who could walk. When we realised the truth, it was too late. And moreover, due to lack of money, we were not able to provide him with good treatment,” Arumugam said.
The couple’s bad luck didn’t stop there. After delivering a second boy, Bebi also developed some difficulties in walking.
“Since 2013, she had not been able to walk. She needed medicines worth OMR8 daily. By this time, we became undocumented, too. So, life became horrible. I had to take care of the children and Bebi,” Arumugam said.
Bebi’s passport was not available. Back in India also, her family didn’t have a photocopy.
The only paper to prove that she was an Indian was her name in a photocopy of a ration card (card provided by the Indian government for the public to buy food, cereal and kerosene at subsidised rates from the government.)
Bebi was laid to rest on Sunday afternoon.