UAE: Bedridden NRI flies to India; hospital bills waived

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September 30, 2020

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Dubai, Sept 30: An Indian expat who had suffered a stroke five months ago and since been bedridden in a hospital, was flown home earlier this week.

Ramachandran Kottakkunnu, 60, left for India in a wheelchair - in a condition far from the life he had lived in the UAE. He had been a UAE resident for over 30 years and used to run a successful business until he lost it all, said Praveen Kumar, the social worker who managed his repatriation in collaboration with the Consulate-General of India in Dubai.

After losing his business, he started working for a small textile shop in Deira's Naif district, earning a salary of Dh2,500. He struggled but he kept going because his wife and daughter are both ill, Khaleejtimes reported.

"His wife has cancer and his daughter has heart disease. That is the only reason he was still living here in the UAE, to pay for his family's medical bills," said Kumar.

Then, he suffered stroke, and the small store he was working with could no longer pay for his hospital expenses. He stayed in the hospital for nearly five months, with his bills reaching almost Dh1.6 million.

"Ramachandran was in a deplorable state. He was in a vegetative, coma state when he was admitted to the hospital five months ago. He still cannot speak; however, thanks to the hospital where he was being treated, he was able to get on a wheelchair and fly home," Kumar said. A wheelchair and an air ticket were provided by the consulate.

"Thanks to the Consulate-General of India and intervention from social workers and volunteers from the mission's medical team, Ramachandran was finally repatriated to his hometown in Kasaragod district in Kerala. He is now admitted for palliative care at a major hospital in Mangalore, Karnataka," Kumar said.

Though he is still unable to speak, the social workers thought it best that he avail of treatment in India instead of staying in the UAE with no means to pay the mounting medical bills.

Jitender Singh Negi, consul for labour, consular and Madad, told Khaleej Times: "I can confirm that Ramachandran was repatriated to India with our support. He had an outstanding bill of nearly 1.6 million. However, the hospital was kind enough to release him.

"He was working for a very small company that was in financial distress amid the Covid-19 crisis, so they were not in a position to support him. Our volunteers worked with him towards his repatriation."

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October 19,2020

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Bengaluru, Oct 19: Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Govind Karjol has said eight members of his family have contracted coronavirus including his son Dr Gopal Karjol, who is on ventilator for the past 23 days.

In a long Twitter post, Karjol explained his inability to take up a long journey to physically monitor the flood situation in Bagalkote and Kalaburagi.

"My son Dr Gopal Karjol is on ventilator for the past 23 days (due to coronavirus). My wife recently came out of the hospital after recovering from the coronavirus infection. I too recovered from Covid-19 after staying in the hospital for 19 days. In all, eight members of my family had contracted coronavirus," Karjol said in his post.

Karjol is an MLA from Mudhol in Bagalkote and is district in charge minister of Bagalkote and Kalaburagi.

Both districts have been affected by floods.

The situation in Kalaburagi is severe due to the Bhima river. Karjol said he was not venturing out unless there was an urgency.

He also said he has been advised by the doctors not to take up long and tiring journeys due to which he is not going to flood-affected areas.

However, he is in touch with the district administration and is monitoring the flood situation sitting at home.

Karjol had contracted the infection when the Assembly session was in progress in the state from September 21 to September 26.

He is among those ministers, MLAs, and other public representatives who were infected with the virus.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, another Deputy Chief Minister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan, Forest Minister Anand Singh, Social Welfare Minister B Sriramulu, BJP National General secretary C T Ravi, Minister for Primary and Secondary Education S Suresh Kumar, Agriculture Minister B C Patil, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and state Congress chief D K Shivakumar were among those infected by the virus.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, cumulatively 7,65,586 Covid-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 10,478 deaths and 6,45,825 discharges.

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October 27,2020

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Chennai, Oct 27: Chengalpattu Police today arrested actor Khushbu Sundar and a few BJP cadre near Muttukadu while she was on her way to Chidambaram to take part in the agitation organised by the BJP to protest the remarks of VCK president Thol Thirumavalavan on women quoting Manusmrithi.

The police had denied permission for the agitation at Chidambaram yesterday. Just after the arrest of Khushbu, BJP State general secretary KT Raghavan was arrested near Athur tollgate near Melmaruvathur. Police said both have been arrested as a preventive measure and would be released soon.

Speaking to media persons, a senior police officer said, "The arrest was a preventive measure given the pandemic situation. We had to avoid the mass gathering of people in Chidambaram to stop the spread of the virus. The detained members will be released before evening"

Just after her arrest, Khushbu tweeted: "Arrested.. been taken in police van. we will fight till our last breath for the dignity of women. H'ble PM @narendramodi ji has always spoken about the safety of women and we walk on his path. We will never bow down to the atrocities of few elements out there. BHARAT MATA KI JAI!"

In her second tweet, she targetted the VCK: "Cowards #VCK. Dont rejoice. Its your failure. Arrested bcoz they know we are a force to reckon with. We will not bow down. @narendramodi Ji shall take every step to ensure the respectability of every daughter of this soil. Darpoks VCK, respecting a woman is alien to you."

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October 28,2020

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Patna, Oct 28: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that just like the people of the state can save themselves from COVID-19 with a mask, similarly with a single vote they can save Bihar from becoming "bimar" (sick).

"Just like you can save your self from COVID-19 with a mask, similarly with a single vote you can save Bihar from becoming 'bimar'," said PM Modi while addressing a public rally in Patna.

"In the last decade and a half, Bihar has strongly stepped up the move from misrule to good governance under the leadership of Nitishji. Due to the efforts of the NDA government, Bihar has come a long way from inconvenience to convenience, from darkness to light, from distrust to trust, from kidnapping of industries to opportunities,"

The Prime Minister further said that Atal Bihari Vajpayee used to say that the definition of electricity in Bihar is that the connection here is mostly out of the place. The darkness of the lantern period has now ended in the state, he added.

"Who can fulfill the aspirations of the poor and middle class of Bihar? Can those who looted Bihar do it? Those who only thought of their families and did injustice to everyone can never understand Bihar's expectations. Only NDA can do it," said PM Modi.

"Earlier it was rare to find a doctor in the hospital. Now facilities like medical colleges and AIIMS are in place here. Earlier, there was a demand in the villages that somehow the ravine should be spread but now people now desire wide roads that remain in good condition in every season," he added.

The Prime Minister stated earlier general railway stations were also a dream for Bihar but now the stations are connecting with modern facilities, there is also an aspiration to start new rail routes, he added.

"Those who thought only of their family, did injustice to every single person of Bihar, also took away the rights of Dalits and Backward and deprived, will those people understand the hopes of Bihar?" asked PM Modi.

"Earlier there was a demand for ring road in Patna. When the ring road was built, then the demand for the metro increased. Today when the work on Patna Metro is underway, the expectations of similar facilities have increased in other cities," he added.

Today in all the cities of Bihar, including Patna, works are being carried to address the basic issues like roads, water and sewer.

"Modern treatment plants are also being installed to clean the water of the dirty water from drains falling in Ganga. In the past, unprecedented reforms have been done from education to governance, from farmer to labour, from ease of living to ease of doing business. Today, after three and a half decades, India has received the new National Education Policy has been received," said PM Modi.

He added that due to lack of language and opportunities poor and deprived people of Bihar were at disadvantage earlier. However, now this section will benefit the most under the new National Education Policy.

"Interviews of Central Government Group-B and Group-C recruitments have been eliminated, which used to encourage corruption. Now unprecedented improvements have also been made in the system of competitive examinations," PM Modi added.

"There is every possibility of becoming an IT hub in Bihar. Here in Patna too, big IT company has opened its office. New opportunities have opened for youth in Bihar. In past years, a dozen BPOs have opened in Patna, Muzaffarpur and Gaya," he added.

Today, the NDA Government insists that no sector or individual be exempted from government services and facilities, said PM Modi adding that more and more technology is being used for this. In Patna itself, 28,000 pucca houses have been sanctioned to the urban poor using technology, he added.

"If there was no 'Trishakti' of Jan Dhan, aadhaar and mobile, then in the corona period, the ration rights of poor people of Bihar would have been usurped, like previous years," he said.

"Development is the way forward, setting new dimensions. Now crores of countrymen need fast internet in the village. The campaign to deliver optical fibre from village to village within 1,000 days has also started from Bihar. The goal is to complete this work in every village of Bihar in a few months," he added.

Addressing another rally in Muzzafarpur today, the Prime Minister in an apparent attack on Mahagathbandhan, said those who are promising development of the State are the ones who have earned the bad name for closing down industries in Bihar.

Polling for the second phase to take place on November 3 and for the third phase on November 7. The results will be declared followed by the counting of votes on November 10.

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