Ramesh Mathew/Doha Time
Doha, Jul 25: Members of the www.qatarliving.com website have donated QR12,000 to stranded Indian expatriate P Aboo, who has been unable to travel home for more than nine years, because of a travel ban.
The travel ban was imposed over rental arrears for the building from where he ran a restaurant until early 2001.
At the Indian embassy yesterday, members of the website handed over the money that they had raised among themselves in two meetings held over the last few days. Representing the group, A Ali, known as “Speed” in community circles, gave the cheque and a gift to Aboo. Indian Ambassador George Joseph, embassy minister Sanjiv Kohli and other officials were present.
Speed said their community website was only too happy to associate with a humanitarian gesture to help a man, who had been stranded in the country for such a long time.
He said the decision to help Aboo was taken in response to the Gulf Times last Friday. He said members and his friends from many nationalities responded generously and they raised the money over just two meetings.
Indian Ambassador Joseph said the biggest credit for the whole exercise in making the campaign a big success would go to Aboo himself.
“What is most remarkable is the fact that he (Aboo) made a Herculean effort to repay his huge rental arrears of about QR200,000 by undertaking a number of odd jobs over the last seven years,” he said.
“Credit should also go to the building owner, who decided to forgo almost half of Aboo’s outstanding arrears,” he said.
Indian Community Benevolent Fund (ICBF) president Dr Mohan Thomas, who made the first donation to the campaign was present. While thanking all who helped make the campaign a grand success, Thomas made an appeal to community forums to come to the aid of the needy they required assistance the most.
Aboo said the cash would help with treatment for his ailing wife and the marriage of his only daughter. He last saw his daughter as a nine-year-old girl, he said.
Besides the assistance from Nasser al-Hajri Group chairman Ravi Pillai, Qatar Consillium managing director B Siva Sankar, Qatar Living and Dr Thomas, the Indian embassy also received some smaller contributions from community members.