Dubai: The birth of a healthy baby boy, two days before Eid, has been the silver lining amid dark clouds of adversity for a young unemployed Indian couple in UAE.
Prabi and GK Nishanth, Indian expatriates from Allepey district who had been struggling with unemployment and homelessness since the coronavirus pandemic began, were thrilled to have become the proud parents of a baby boy on the eve of Eid.
Laid off as company faced losses
Both husband and wife worked for different travel agencies. A few months ago, the couple had no inkling that they would be in such dire straits.
Nishanth told Gulf News: “My wife was expecting and since the previous company where she was employed wasn’t providing health insurance she had quit her job and was planning to fly back to India for the delivery of her baby when she completed her seventh month in the third week of March, but then air travel was suspended. In the meantime, my company also laid me off as there was no business and suddenly we found we had no money and since she had no health insurance we were scared of the huge hospital bills.”
Hospital steps in to help
The couple wrote the Indian consulate appealing for help and they directed them to contact the Al Zahra Hospital, Sharjah.
“The hospital authorities were very empathetic and promised us all the support we needed,” said Nishanth.
Prabi was admitted to Al Zahra Hospital where she had a normal delivery a healthy 3.25-kg baby boy on Thursday, May 21.
Dr Rizmee Shireen, consultant obstetrician and gynecologist who assisted the mother told Gulf News, “We were ready to provide all kind of tactical and moral support to the mother. Despite such a stressful situation, the mother showed surprising strength and resilience and managed a normal delivery. This was her first experience at labour and she was very calm and strong. Both mother and baby were doing well and were discharged,” said that Shireen who also recommended that the mother and the baby should ideally wait for four weeks before planning to take a flight to India.
Michael Davis, CEO of NMC Healthcare told Gulf News, “Although times are testing and business is challenging, serving our community comes first and has always been at the core of our values. We are happy to know that the mother and child are doing well and we pray for their health and well-being.”
I sold my car for Dh5,000 to make ends meet
The couple are staying in a room that has been lent to them by a good friend.
“I am grateful that the hospital took only charges of the consumables which came to around 50 per cent of its delivery package and that was very helpful. One of my friends helped me pay the bills. I had an old car which I sold for Dh5,000 and am managing the nutrition and medicines for my wife and baby in that amount,” said Nishanth.
The couple have registered for repatriation with the Indian consulate and are hoping they will be able to do so before their money runs out.