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Ailing teacher gets helping hand to return home after 20 years

Social workers arrange for rehabilitation centre to take care of Yazdani along with her mentally challenged son

Image Credit: Supplied
This file photo shows Saira Saeed Ahmad Yazdani with her teaching colleagues.
Gulf News

Dubai: An ailing elderly Indian woman in Fujairah will soon be flown to India, ending years of illegal stay in the UAE, social workers have said.

Saira Saeed Ahmad Yazdani, 79, from Pune, will be taken to Santhi Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Centre, a shelter in the south Indian state of Kerala, along with her mentally challenged 45-year-old son Parvez.

It will also be the first time in 20 years that they both are going back to India.

Saira Saeed Ahmad Yazdani, 79, from Pune.

Uma Preman, founder of the centre, who has been taking home bedridden Indian patients in Dubai for long-term treatment and care, has agreed to admit Yazdani at the rehabilitation centre and to take in Parvez along with the former teacher.

On a visit to the UAE to complete paper works for the repatriation of the duo in Fujairah and three other patients in Dubai, Preman told Gulf News that she came to know about the troubled mother and son from the Indian Social Club (ISC) in Fujariah.

ISC president Puthur Rahman took up their case with her after the club was contacted for help by Syed Hussain Pookoya Thangal, who helped with their accommodation when they came to his neighbourhood.

“He is like my son. When I came here, he told me to teach his children,” Yazdani recalled while speaking to Gulf News over phone from Fujairah.

Yazdani said she had got married to her Pakistani husband, an engineer who used to run an AC repair shop in Fujairah, when he visited Pune and came to the UAE with her eldest son Parvez in 1976.

“I used to be a teacher in Pune. I taught here also in three schools in Fujairah — Pakistan [Islamia Higher Secondary] School, Modern Indian School and Our Own English High School.”

She claimed to have 30 years of experience in teaching and said she retired in 1998. “After leaving the school, I was taking tuitions till two years ago,” she said.

The two-bedroom villa where she once lived with her husband and three children is now occupied only by her and Parvez.

Her husband, who had left for Pakistan for good several years ago and used to visit her occasionally, passed away and her two younger children have since left the country.

Thangal said Saira had never travelled to Pakistan and the last time the whole family had been to Pune was in 1998.

“Only Parvez had an Indian passport. The other son lives in Pakistan and her daughter got married here last year, but now she is not in a position to take care of her mother and brother,” he said.

After Yazdani stopped taking tuitions, Thangal and other well-wishers in the neighbourhood used to supply provisions for the elderly woman and her son.

“Her health became worse since last year due to arthritis. Now it is Parvez who is taking care of her by serving food and even changing her diapers,” said Thangal.

Though ISC Ladies’ Forum contacted some old age homes and orphanages in Mumbai and Pune, none was ready to accept the mother and son together, said the forum’s head Vidya Nair.

When Preman agreed to take them, the club sought the help of the Indian consulate in Dubai for emergency certificate (travel document commonly known as out-pass) for them.

Nasirudheen M.P, general secretary of ISC, said a consulate official visited them and issued out-passes after checking relevant documents.

“We are now trying to get clearance from the immigration and police departments for repatriating them. We hope the authorities will waive fines for both of them on humanitarian grounds and facilitate their early repatriation so that her treatment can start soon.”

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