Dubai: On the night of November 9, 2017, Indian expat A.S. Sankaranarayanan, 61, reached his home in the South Indian state of Kerala after a gap of eight long years.
The elderly man had been languishing in the UAE as he was unable to pay the Dh200,000 in blood money to the family of a Bangladeshi worker in an accidental death case. The worker had died of electrical shock in a washroom at his labour accommodation in 2009.
Sankaranarayanan, a former office supervisor with an electromechanical company in Sharjah, claimed that he ended up as the accused in the case after he submitted his passport in a Sharjah court to officiate on behalf of his former employer.
When his story was published in Gulf News on April 2, 2017, several people offered him a helping hand. Emirates Islamic Bank went a step ahead and donated the full amount of the blood money to settle the court case of Sankaranarayanan.
His legal battle continued for seven more months due to the huge overstay fines that had piled up during the case. The major fines were eventually waived with the help of the Indian Consulate in Dubai.
Sankaranarayanan is now living with his ailing wife and teenaged daughter. The family is happy after their reunion.
However, life is not yet back on track for Sankaranarayanan.
Speaking from Kerala over phone, he said: “I’m settling down slowly. By the grace of God, I am pulling through.”
He said the biggest concern now is his wife’s health. “She has been suffering from knee and shoulder pain and undergoing ayurvedic treatment for long. There is improvement … but the treatment needs to continue.”
Sankaranarayanan said he would never forget the generosity of the people who helped.
“I am always grateful to Gulf News, Emirates Islamic Bank, the Indian Consulate and all others who supported me. I always pray for all of them. God will always bless them all.”
He specifically applauded the noble gesture of the bank during the Year of Giving in the UAE. He said it was unexpected of one particular company to bear the whole amount.
“What Emirates Islamic Bank did is a great gesture during the Year of Giving. I thank the senior officials of the bank and also salute the leaders of the UAE for all the good work done in the Year of Giving.”