Sunday, July 5, 2009

Education of children of evicted families in soup

The Gulf Today, 4 Nov 2008
A UAE-based welfare organisation has urged the government of India to support expatriate families who are affected by the “One Villa One Family” regulations now in force in the UAE.
The Pravasi Bandhu Welfare Trust, a Sharjah-based social welfare association, has written the letter to Indian minister of overseas affairs Vayalar Ravi on the issue.
The letter urges the Indian authorities to lend a helping hand to school-going children, some of whom are forced to go back to India during mid-term of the current academic year, after being evicted from sharing villas.
KV Shamsudheen, chairman of Pravasi Bandhu told The Gulf Today that the efforts of the welfare organisation are to find solutions to hurdles faced by low and middle-income Indian expatriate families living in the UAE.
“As a large number of such families are being forced to return home after getting eviction notice from multi-family sharing villas in the suburbs of the emirate, problems emerge for the school-going children of the families,” he said.
“Many parents are afraid of their children missing a full academic year, which will affect their future. As the number of children could be huge, we request the Indian authorities to issue special orders to facilitate school admissions back home,” he added.
“Due to the shifting of Indian families from the UAE to India, the home-returning children will create heavy admission traffic in schools there. So, Pravasi Bandhu Welfare Trust appealed to the Indian government to give priority for school admission to all children coming from the UAE,” Shamsudheen pointed out.
“The situation of high rent and unaffordable living cost compel most of the Indians expatriates to live in shared accommodations, even though they want to live comfortably. Those who got expulsion notice are struggling to get independent accommodation which is not at all an easy task,” he added.
The letter to the Indian authorities said, “The families who have to vacate their homes on account of the One Family in Villa regulations are in search of affordable homes in other emirates such as Sharjah, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain, and many are having difficulties finding one.”
“Some of the evicted tenants are at the mercy of friends or relatives in temporary accommodation and others cannot get settled anywhere. There are many cases where families cannot send their children to school because they keep moving from place to place.”
The families living in shared accommodation pay Dhs3,000 to Dhs4,000 per month, where as the places they are staying in now require many times this rent. They are left with little choice but to borrow money, and indebtedness is spreading among expatriates in the UAE, leading to social problems,” the correspondence continued.
The letter was also copied to the Indian Ambassador in Abu Dhabi, Indian Consulate in Dubai, and chairperson of ruling front United Progressive Alliance Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi MP and LK Advani.

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