Dubai: An Indian student died in an accident hours after volunteering to distribute iftar packets to commuters in a Dubai Police Ramadan drive on Wednesday.
Parents of Nehal Shahin, 19, however, got to know about his death only on Saturday evening after a social worker helped them find his unidentified body in Dubai Police mortuary, family sources said.
Nehal, who was waiting to go for his higher studies in India, was part of a volunteering team formed by the United PRO Association which helps Dubai Police with iftar kit distribution to motorists at traffic signals, said Naseer Vatanappally, the social worker who helped the family.
On Wednesday, Nehal had volunteered to gift iftar kits to commuters, Naseer told Gulf News.
He was hit by a car while crossing the bridge towards Al Nahda Sharjah from Al Nahda Dubai. He did not carry any identity papers and police couldn’t identify him.
“But he did not immediately return to his home in Al Nahda in Sharjah as he went to visit a friend who had relocated to India and came back on a visit,” he said.
Mohammad Shamil, Nehal’s schoolmate who came on visit, said he, Nehal and another friend, Ansaf, had gone to shop clothes for Ansaf when Nehal came back after iftar distribution.
“After Ansaf left, Nehal came with me to see me off till my house. When he said he was hungry, I took him inside and gave him a piece of cake. While he was having that, his mother called up and asked him to come home. He left immediately.”
However, Nehal never reached home. When the parents couldn’t connect with him on the phone, they searched for him and finally registered a missing complaint with Sharjah Police.
On Saturday, their message about the missing son was shared in a WhatsApp group, of which Naseer is a member.
“I checked with Dubai Police headquarters if there is any complaint against him in the system and also checked with some hospitals to know if he was admitted anywhere. When there was no information about him, I decided to check with the mortuary,” said Naseer.
On inquiry, Naseer said he got to know that there was an unidentified body of a youth who was knocked down by a car.
He helped Nehal’s father, Shahin Thakadiyil Shamsudeen, get clearance from the police to check the body. He identified it as that of Nehal by Saturday evening.
“He was hit by a car while crossing the bridge towards Al Nahda Sharjah from Al Nahda Dubai. He did not carry any identity papers and police couldn’t identify him.”
Nehal’s mother Celina and younger brother Nehad saw his body on Sunday afternoon. “It was a very tragic situation. The family has been shattered. They will be flying him to their native place in Kerala after finishing the legal formalities,” said Naseer.
In a statement to Gulf News, Mala Mehra, principal of Central School, Dubai, where Nehal had previously studied, said: “We, the management, staff and students of the school deeply mourn the sad demise of our dear former student Nehal. He shall be fondly remembered by us as a kind and caring boy who got along with everyone and as a champion of social consciousness.”
“He finished his sprint successfully, leaving deep impression of love and inspiration,” she added.