Bahrain: New Baby Delays Stranded Mum

Gulf Daily News  

Bahrain, Feb 20: A STRANDED mum gave birth to her second illegitimate child in her flat yesterday, just as immigration approved her papers to go home with her first son.

Now Sulekha Mohammed, 48, from Karnataka, India, will have to appeal to authorities all over again to allow her to leave with her two sons.

She had been granted permission to leave with her 18-month-old son Thawfeeque, whom she had by the lover she lived with for nearly five years.

Ms Mohammed gave birth to another boy during the early hours of yesterday morning and did not have anyone to help her.

The Gulf Daily News had last reported on January 31 that the Indian Embassy had pledged to help the pregnant, runaway housemaid.

Her partner K Ashraf, from Kannur, Kerala, was deported nearly seven months ago for being an illegal resident, leaving her to look after their child and cope with her pregnancy alone.

Prathibha Association president Subhair Kannur took up her case and obtained a copy of her passport from the manpower agency which brought her here six years ago.

He approached the embassy, which then issued her with an emergency outpass.

Kannur agreed to act as guarantor that Thawfeeque was Mohammed's child, since the boy doesn't even have a birth certificate, as his birth was never registered.

Kannur and Migrant Workers Protection Society action committee head Marietta Dias asked the General Directorate of Nationality, Passports and Residence (GDNPR) to allow mother and children to leave on her outpass.

"The immigration informed us yesterday that the outpass for Sulekha and her son had been approved," said Kannur.

"This was just after Marietta and I were told of the delivery.

"We explained the situation to the immigration official, as Sulekha will not be able to travel soon.

"Also, now she has to get another approval from the authorities to add her second child's name to her outpass, which will again take time.

Mohammed developed labour pains at around 1.30am yesterday and delivered a healthy baby boy just 40 minutes later, in her flat in Ras Ruman, Manama.

"There was nobody to help her, but later an immediate neighbour lent a hand.

Indian Embassy asked the social workers to get a picture of the newborn to be attached with Ms Mohammed's emergency exit pass.

Her illegal situation means she cannot go to hospital, so a doctor (who did not want to be named) agreed to check mother and baby at the flat.

"The doctor prescribed some medicine for the mother and checked the baby and confirmed both were doing fine," said  Kannur.

"The situation is happy because a healthy baby is born, but it is sad because their departure will be further complicated and delayed."

Meanwhile Mohammed and the baby will be taken care of by a nanny whose expenses will be borne by social workers. Mohammed believes her lover is waiting for her and their son back home and refuses to believe that he has abandoned them.


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