Dubai: For about a fortnight, Indian expat A. Ali’s two children could not sleep properly. They were not sure if they would be able to go back to school this year because their fees had not been paid.
On Monday, their hopes were rekindled by an anonymous Gulf News reader who came forward to support them after reading their story in these columns on Sunday.
The report had highlighted the issue of several Indian students like them in the UAE as they faced a bleak future following fee defaults by their parents in distress.
The generous donor, who did not wish to reveal his identity, sent one of his employees to Ali’s house and handed over two cheques in the school’s name.
One cheque amounting to Dh6,348, was to clear pending fees from last year and another for Dh13,861 was to pay tuition fees for the first term of this academic year.
“They checked with the school about the total payment to be made for sending my kids back to school and gave the cheques for that amount. I could not believe it was for real,” Ali’s wife S. Sultana said.
She said the donor did not just stop there. “His wife and daughter took us for grocery shopping and bought us everything that we need for a month. I think they might have paid more than Dh800. I took only the essential items though his daughter kept telling me to take more.”
After the grocery shopping, they treated the children at a restaurant. They handed another Dh500 for buying the kids’ uniforms, she said.
“They did not want to reveal their names. I only know that they are from Kerala,” said Sultana whose family hails from Mumbai in Maharashtra.
After hearing about Ali’s ill health, she said, the donor also arranged a full body checkup worth about Dh5,000 for him and has promised to buy necessary medicines once the results are out.
Ali, who had spent six months in jail last year after he caused a road accident, suffers from uncontrolled diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol.
The couple said the 92 kg Ali has lost 41kg in the past six months after his pest control business went bust following his imprisonment.
“I have worked hard in this country for 30 years. When my business was good, I used to spend Dh5,000 to Dh10,00 for charity every month. I used to do more during Ramadan. Allah now sent this stranger to help my children,” said Ali.
The couple thanked the donor and his family for their big heart. They were also grateful to social worker Shaji Vadakkekkad who informed Gulf News about their plight.
“Altogether they have spent about Dh27,000 for us. Not many people can do this. All thanks to them, my kids will continue their education,” said Sultana.
She said her daughter, who is in grade six, was extremely happy to go back to school on Wednesday. “My son, who is in grade eight, will be going to the new branch of the school from Sunday. Their classmates are also very happy that they can continue in the school as they have been studying with them since KG 1.”