The pathetic story of 700 Indian workers began taking shape four months ago when the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the world. These workers were stranded in Jeddah city of KSA due to the frequent lockdowns. Some of them continued to stay even after visa expiry; some, after losing their jobs, were working elsewhere on their previous permits to make ends meet, and some jobless and penniless workers were even begging for food and money as they had been left with no other option. Since these actions are considered illegal as per the law of the land, they were apprehended by the local police and sent to a detention centre. The group was waiting desperately to be freed and return to India. But their plight only came to light recently when the media published reports of the same.
Reacting to the reports, UAE billionaire Dr. Dhananjay Datar, CMD of Al Adil Trading Co. LLC. UAE went all-out in his efforts to free the 700 detained Indian workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s (KSA) Jeddah city and offer them food, medical help, and logistical support to return to their homeland. As a truly patriotic Indian, Dr. Datar, not only proved himself but also upheld India’s prestige. All these evacuated workers, after landing in India recently, expressed their gratitude with tearful eyes by saying, ‘He is truly Al Adil (A good soul)’.
“I have been active in promoting Indian culture in the Gulf. I haven’t done anything special. It is the duty of every person to help his brethren in such difficult times. This is what the Indian culture teaches us. I am happy that these workers are united with their family and are safe.” – Dr Datar
According to Dr. Datar, also known as the ‘Masala King’, when he realised their grief, he vowed to free them from the detention centre as early as possible and send them back to India safely. Besides, another fact which made him quite uneasy was that some of India’s neighbouring countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka had already evacuated their workers well in time and on the other hand hundreds of jobless and penniless Indian workers were facing undue confinement for some insignificant reasons.
He, along with his company team, swung into action. It was not an easy task to manage everything remotely and regularly follow up as UAE and KSA are two different countries, but his resolution was rock hard. He communicated with the Indian Consulate in Jeddah through the Indian Consulate in Dubai and expressed his willingness to help the detained workers. He proposed that if the KSA authorities release the poor workers on humanitarian grounds, he would sponsor their entire air tickets and medical test expenditure besides providing logistical facilities.
At last, the mediation and joint efforts of Dr. Datar and the Indian Consulate in Jeddah worked out and KSA authorities not only released the Indian workers but also extended a helping hand. Since the air traffic between India and KSA has not resumed yet, they facilitated the air travel of these workers to India through Saudia- their official airline- and sponsored the tickets. He and his team ensured the medical tests, logistic support and food facility to these workers. Two flights of Saudia, from Jeddah airport carrying a total of 451 passengers recently landed at the Delhi International Airport and all passengers were sent to quarantine facilities in Delhi and Bhatinda. The third flight carrying the remaining passengers landed at the Kochi International Airport.
Expressing his happiness over learning of the news of the safe arrival of these passengers to India, he smilingly said, “Our Al Adil group, under its CSR initiative, has been implementing a drive to help the stranded and penniless Indian workers to return home safely. We are sponsoring the entire expenditure of their air tickets, food and medical tests. As of now, we have successfully sent more than 5000 stranded Indian workers across the GCC region. Besides business, I have been active in promoting Indian culture in the Gulf countries. I haven’t done anything special. It is the duty of every person to help his brethren in such difficult times. This is what the Indian culture teaches us. I am happy that these workers are united with their family and are safe.”