UAE | General

Father of four appeals for help for starving family

Woes include 5 months’ unpaid rent, no cooking gas or food and no milk for baby

  • By Janice Ponce de Leon, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 21:00 April 9, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News
  • Ramadan and Saeeda, with two of their four children. The family is desperate for help with both parents facing police cases for non-payment of bills.

Sharjah: If only Ramadan, 55, could collect the money his clients owed him, the Indian father-of-four said he is sure his children — including his five-month-old son and two-year-old daughter — would not have starved and suffered a life of isolation.

Ramadan, his wife, Saeeda, and their four kids have been living in hiding since 2007 after their business went bankrupt during the global recession. A graphic artist for 30 years, Ramadan used to own a printing company and did specialised marketing projects for big companies.

“During the recession, our clients went missing. To settle our debts [from suppliers], we had to sell our house, gold and [used our] children’s savings, everything,” Ramadan told Gulf News.

“As a result, we don’t have anything over here, nor do we have anything in India. We did this assuming that we will be able to get our money back when business improves,” he added.

But it did not. Cash-strapped, Ramadan and his wife took a bank loan and used credit cards to get by.

He has since been working on projects with clients in secret. But once he delivers work, the payments rarely came. With no regular source of income, they eventually defaulted on their financial responsibilities.

“Whatever [job] I get, people take advantage. They know I’m legally stuck. I cannot go to the police [if they don’t pay me]. If I go to the police, I’ll get caught. So they’re saying, “Don’t harass us, when we get the money, we’ll pay.” They literally avoid paying me,” he said.

The couple planned on availing of the amnesty offered by the UAE government last December to February, but because of the cases Ramadan and his wife face, getting amnesty was not an option.

“What will happen to our kids if we go behind bars? We are scared for our children. These two kids and my older girls are also young,” Saeeda said, fighting back tears.

Both Ramadan’s older daughters have not gone to school for the past four years. The family has had limited interaction with the outside world for fear of being apprehended. They don’t even seek medical help when needed because of their condition.

“During my last pregnancy, I never had any check-ups because we didn’t have money,” Saeeda said, referring to her five-month-old son. She was only able to see a doctor a month before giving birth to him. “My two-year-old daughter has not even seen a park.”

“It’s as if we’re imprisoned,” Ramadan added.

Ramadan said no matter how hard he tries, his family is barely surviving. The family has been living off the generosity of relatives in Dubai but that too has limits.

The family has recently hit rock bottom—five months’ rent overdue, no cooking gas, no food, and worse, no milk for his baby. They had no electricity and water for nine days but the utilities were reconnected after some help came in.

Ramadan’s family in India has cut ties with him for certain religious reasons. Feeling pushed to the edge, Ramadan appealed for help for his wife and family.

“We want to come out of this nightmare. If somehow she can be out [of jail] and be with the children, I’m ready to face the consequences, whatever the penalty. But I want my wife to be with the children in India,” Ramadan said.

Editor's note: Those who wish to help the family may get in touch with Joseph Bobby of Valley of Love through the number 055-3370044.

Comments (42)

  1. Added 15:47 April 10, 2013

    Overwhelming response from all and a heart wrenching story. Please do let me know who to contact and how as I would like to contribute. Have they approached any charity org for help or support?

    Fatima, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 11:55 April 10, 2013

    on reading this situation of ramadhan and their family tears comes out of love. also i got a confidence that love prevails after reading above comments of offering help. please share details so we can contribute something so their childrens are safe. we are connected with love, love is god

    thiru, dubai, India

  3. Added 10:53 April 10, 2013

    My eyes are full of tears by reading this story. i am also father of two kids & i can imagine their problems.God Bless them. Please advise how to help them.

    attique, Abu Dhabi, Pakistan

  4. Added 10:52 April 10, 2013

    Thank you Gulf News for bringing this to our notice. I wish to contribute, let us all get together and do our best and InshaAllah this family should be out of problem.

    Shahida, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 10:36 April 10, 2013

    kindly give their phone numbers or email ids so that we can contact them for providing what ever help we can. Really their situation is such worse that every human will come forward to help. Please provide details, i want to help them atleast a little some.

    Syed, Sharjah, India

  6. Added 10:36 April 10, 2013

    GN, please adv their contact no. so we can help.

    Kamran, dubai, Pakistan

  7. Added 10:36 April 10, 2013

    Hi, I want to help them but i dont no how to contact them .

    saqib, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 10:35 April 10, 2013

    Please let me know how to contact the family. I would like to help with whatever little means I have.

    sameer, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 10:31 April 10, 2013

    This Is So Unfair With The Kids How Can The Mother Be Behind The Bars..Kids Are Young They Need Mother With Them This Is So Hard To Believe That Mother Will Be Separated.. This Should Not Happen At least For The Sake Of Kids..

    Adeeb, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 10:30 April 10, 2013

    Who can we contact for this

    Leslie, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  11. View more comments

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