Two more Indians have ended their lives - one in Dubai and one in Ajman.
This is the sixth suicide by an Indian citizen to be reported in the UAE in May.
21-year-old Nikhil Soman Nair from Indian state of Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district, was found dead seven days after he landed in UAE to work for a printing press owned by a man from his home state.
According to social worker Ashraf, the youth was brought to UAE to work in a company managed by one of his neighbours back home. He is the only son of his father who married thrice.
“This is the latest suicide case to be reported from the Indian expat community. Nikhil was found hanging from a ceiling fan in his room in Ajman. He wanted to have lunch one hour before the company’s lunch break.
"He was behaving strangely and had come out of the company’s premises and taken the house key from a colleague. He said he wanted go to his room to rest, but when the new employee did not return to work, someone went looking for him in his room and found his body,” said Ashraf.
Social workers said the newly recruited man could have been suffering from home sickness. “We called Ajman Police to remove the body from the accommodation. His body will be sent home on Monday night on an Emirates flight.”
Another Indian worker was also reportedly found dead. It was suspected to be a suicide case. The man was depressed as he could not go home for his wedding.
“He lived in Satwa. He was about to get married, but he could not go home for his own wedding. He is suspected to have committed suicide. The body is yet to be sent home,” said a social worker familiar with the case.
The number of Indians committing suicide in the UAE has been going up. Many individuals and families suffering from depression and financial distress have ended their lives.
At an interactive session on suicides jointly organised by the social organisation Sevanam and the Indian Media Forum last Friday, three desperate Indians, who had unsuccessfully attempted suicide, came forward seeking help.
A tailor from Ajman, hailing from Kanjangadu, Kerala, said he attempted suicide two times because he could not pay back the capital and the huge interest charged by Ajman-based money lenders.
Many distressed Indians, who participated in the Sevanam-Indian Media Forum session on suicides, have sought legal, moral and material support.
All the participants were unanimous that the Indian embassy and consulate should take more steps to address the problem and that the Indian government should use part of the welfare fund for helping financially and emotionally distressed Indian expatriates in the UAE.
“I used to work as a tailor and I decided to expand my business by purchasing a tailoring shop which was for sale. I spent Dh14,000 to purchase the shop from the sponsor.
"I took the money from a lender in Ajman. I used to pay Dh1,400 per month as interest alone from my total income of Dh2,000 to Dh2,500. Even after paying Dh1,400 every month for two years, the principal amount was outstanding,” the indebted tailor said.
“I borrowed indiscriminately from friends, relatives and others back home to run the business and to treat my mother who suffered a major accident.
"I sold my property back home to settle some of the dues, but since I am frequently humiliated and insulted by lenders including my friends, I decided to end my life. However, I was released from the death trap by my roommate who lent me some money,” he said.
“I was about to sleep but felt something was wrong. My roommate was quietly moving the table closer to the ceiling fan and was preparing to hang himself with a curtain cloth.
"When I suddenly switched on the light, I found him trying to hang from the ceiling fan. I stopped him immediately and his life was saved,” said his roommate, who works in Dubai Media City.
Two other people with similar stories approached Indian social workers seeking help. Many of the participants wanted expert advice on how to minimise the number of credit cards and personal loans, the main reasons for financial stress, said Manoharan Vathisseril, co-ordinator of the seminar.
PG Rajendar, president of Sevanam, Dubai, made each of the 12,000-odd Sevanam members take a pledge that none of them would ever commit suicide or even think of taking their own life. Sevanam officials said the campaign against suicides and financial distress would continue.
Dr George Kaliadan, a Dubai-based psychologist promised to give free consultation to people suffering from suicidal tendencies once in three weeks.
Advocate Hashik Thykandiyil agreed to offer free legal consultation to such financially distressed people. Social workers also urged the Indian embassy, consulate and socio-political organisations to help Indian citizens in distress.
Indian expatriate found hanging in Al Ain
A 51-year old Indian expat living in the UAE, Premchand A, was found hanging from a signage board at a building in Al Ain’s new industrial area, sending shockwaves through the community.
Close friends and family believe the man committed suicide, though an official police statement is awaited.
This 'suicide' comes less than a week after a high-profile Indian social worker, V Sugathan, was found hanging at a construction site in Masafi, Fujairah. The police in this case confirmed the death as suicide.
Premchand had been working in a contracting company for the last 12 years.
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