186 penniless Maharashtrian workers who had been stranded in Dubai heaved a breath of relief as they boarded a chartered flight from Dubai to Mumbai. The workers from all regions of Maharashtra recently landed at Mumbai Airport with smiling faces and tearful eyes, thanking God and his angel- Masala king Dr. Dhananjay Datar.
Dhananjay Datar, CMD, Al Adil Trading LLC, and also a billionaire from Dubai known for his philanthropic work sponsored all travel expenses of these travellers and made their return journey hassle-free. He has vowed to help as many needy and stranded Indian workers as possible till they safely return to their hometowns. As of now he has helped 3000 needy Indians stranded in Dubai to return to India and has spent more than Rs. 3 Crores to sponsor their air tickets and medical tests. These people are from different states of India including Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Punjab, Goa, Rajasthan etc. The drive to help the needy will be continued for the next few months.
Speaking about the initiative Dr. Dhananjay said, “Post lockdown, the air traffic between UAE and India resumed almost immediately but flights from Dubai to Mumbai started only recently. That is why 65000 Indians from Maharashtra including workers, students, tourists etc. are still stranded in Dubai and awaiting to avail the flight booking early as possible. Of these, the penniless workers who lost their jobs are suffering more.
Until now we had provided free food and medical kits to thousands of needy families in Dubai, but when I realised that there were hundreds of jobless and empty-pocketed workers who were in dire need, our company decided to sponsor their travel and medical test expenditure. Some of them had to take shelter in public parks as they were unable to pay their house rents. Some had lost family members back in India due to the pandemic, but were unable to even attend the funeral rites. Someone’s wife was admitted to hospital, someone’s children were home quarantined. These wretched stories really moved us to take up this drive as a CSR initiative.”
He further said, “It was a challenge for us to select the really needy people from a list of 2000 applicants. We preferred workers who were previously earning a monthly salary below 2000 Dirham and lost their jobs during the pandemic. Besides, there were some other important formalities to be completed before the travel. We approached Maharashtra government and Ministry of External Affairs for their permissions, co-ordinated with Indian Consulate in UAE, followed all legal frameworks of both countries and communicated with the airline for arranging a chartered flight. We also took the responsibility to home quarantine these travellers after they reach Mumbai. By God’s grace we overcame every challenge. My wife Vandana and sons Hrishikesh and Rohit proactively participated in the entire process. Many thanks to Dhanashree Patil (Pune) and Rahul Tilpule who helped us a lot and also Mr. Suleiman from Akbar Ali Travels (Mumbai) for assisting us in completing the travel permissions related formalities.”