Tired of unemployment and low wage work in the state, lots of Goans make their way to the foreign countries in search of jobs and a better future. We have only seen them returning with scented perfumes and merchandise from abroad but sadly we do not know the dilemma they go through in a foreign land away from family and home. In a distressing incident reported by Gulf News, an Indian man of Goan origin died in the UAE on 1 August waiting for amnesty for 3 illegal years. His body is being kept on hold until it is recovered by the widowed wife Liberate Cardoso.
Bernard Cardoso (40), a cook who worked with a famous food chain was left jobless in 2015 after the company was closed down and survived by doing odd jobs in Dubai. He lived with his family, his wife Liberate who works as a telephone receptionist in a five-star hotel in Satwa and 2 sons Myron and Milvon during their merry days. However, given that Bernard was left unemployed and Liberate was the lone breadwinner, they fell into the debt trap where the wife could not make the ends meet. She cited “I spent money thriftily without making any expenditure on me but on my children’s schools fees. I took loans from the bank to help us run the house hoping Bernard and I could clear the loans once he gets a good job. But to our despair the interests kept mounting and now I am left with the debt of DH100,000 to pay back”. Unable to keep up with the growing interests and mighty expenditures, Bernard along with his children left for Goa where they were left in the care of their grandmother and Bernard returned to Dubai on a visit visa in search of a job.
By then Liberate moved to shared staff accommodation and Bernard moved into a bed space accommodation in Satwa. After failed attempts at getting a job, he started doing odd jobs to be with his wife in UAE. Day by day his fines kept increasing which he wasn’t able to pay. “I pleaded him to turn himself to the police but he feared being jailed,” said the tearful Liberate. “When Amnesty was announced he was very happy because he could finally meet his sons. Given a second chance he thought of taking amnesty and getting pardoned”.
Unfortunately, he took ill a fortnight before amnesty; he refused to see the doctor fearing of being caught by the UAE officials. On August 1, Liberate got a call from his neighbor saying that he was rushed to the Iranian Hospital after he suffered cardiac arrest. By the time Liberate reached the hospital, he had passed away.
The inconsolable Liberate is left on her own with 2 young sons and a debt of DH 100,000 to pay. “I have a brother who used to support me but now he is suffering from Cancer and is not in a position to help me out, my mother who is taking care of my children is old and suffering from painful stomach ulcers. I don’t know how I am going to live without my husband”. Miserable Liberate is working up and down to get done with the post-mortem of her husband’s body. She is desperately working on his travel documents and other formalities which expired in July this year. “I don’t know how long the procedure will go on, I don’t what to do. Now I just have my family and some close friends to support”, said the sobbing Liberate.
Like, Liberate there are many hopeless and helpless widows or families facing a dreadful time in different countries. Maybe not a family but as our own, we can extend our support towards them. Remember, all that glitters ain’t gold, all that shines ain’t crystal.