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Benefactors provide free air tickets to amnesty beneficiaries

Total of 82 people benefit from initiative

Gulf News

Dubai: Krishnaveni Netala, 42, from Pittalavemawaram in West Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh, India was excited about going back home to be with her children. She was one of among 30 people to be offered air tickets by an Indian businessman.

Netala has not seen her two sons, aged 18 and 12, and daughter, 11, in more than four years. Her husband is a farmer. She came to the UAE on a maid’s visa but absconded from her sponsors a year later. According to her, her sponsors tortured her mentally and physically, and did not even feed her properly. Ever since she has worked for another family as a full-time maid for a salary of Dh1,000.

Kalani M Lal, a Dubai-based investment banker, said that he decided to help 50 amnesty beneficiaries by providing them with free air tickets, as he wanted to contribute to a social cause. The first batch of 30 people, including Netala, left for India on Tuesday night, straight after an event organised in Ghusais to distribute the tickets. The next 30 will leave on February 4, he said.

Taking their cue from him, some Telugu organisations and individuals pledged to pay for 32 more air tickets for people with outpasses, bringing the total number of people who will benefit from the initiative to 82.

Before boarding a bus to the airport, Netala said that she wouldn’t leave her home country for money again. She said she had lost a lot as she had missed her family and had not gained much monetarily as she had to repay the loan she took out before coming to the UAE.

Sangaiah, 28, from Nizamabad, who came to Dubai on a visit visa in 2008 after paying a travel agent a “huge amount”, is another person who returned home on Tuesday. He said most of his earnings went in repaying the loan he had taken out which had a high rate of compound interest.