Woman Stranded in UAE for 29 years, Family Seeks Govt Help
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Geeta Valaboju
Hyderabad: A 67-year-old woman, who went to Dubai for employment in 1994, has been stranded in UAE for 29 years now, unable to return home due to issues with her passport. Suffering from poor health, she is continuing her battle to return home.
Nakka Rajyalakshmi, a resident of Jagannapeta of Razole in East Godavari district, told Deccan Chronicle: "I arrived in Dubai in September 1994, paying Rs 20,000 to an agent in Mumbai for the journey, though I can't recall their name. After leaving my job, I stayed with a fellow villager named Poonam, but she tragically passed away during the Covid-19 pandemic, leaving me homeless."
"I tried seeking help during amnesty periods, visiting the Indian Embassy twice. However, my missing passport became a major obstacle. Local police advised me to retrieve it from my former employer, which is an impossible task. Later, I was referred to Al Alvir jail, receiving the same advice to approach the Indian Embassy," she said.
Rajyalakshmi said that she visited the Indian Consulate a further four times, seeking aid.
"I presented my passport copy, even though it lacked the necessary stamps. I told them that I never took on another nationality during my time in Dubai," she said, adding it was for nought.
"Now, at 67 years of age, I am facing immense challenges. I lost my job due to Covid-19, suffered a fall on November 25 that limits my mobility and my eyesight has deteriorated. Paying rent has become a struggle and I haven't covered my bed expenses for four months. I rely on the kindness of others for food and medicine. I'm desperate to return to my family in India," she said.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, Rajyalakshmi's daughter Nakka Jhansi said: "My mother has been our family’s backbone. Since my father fell ill, she took full responsibility and left for the UAE to secure a better future for us. I was studying Intermediate when she left. She supported me financially for four years, but got stranded and couldn't return. Despite multiple attempts, no government helped us reunite with my mother. I request the government to help us."
Sister Lessy, a domestic workers’ union leader, said that she was also closely monitoring the situation.
"The passport verification process will likely be time consuming because, at that time, documents were physical and not accessible online. It is disheartening to see authorities indifferent to such cases. This isn't an isolated incident; there are many women who haven't seen their families for ages. I appeal to the government to help these innocent individuals," she said.