A 48-year-old Indian man in Dubai, who has been living in a public park and has no money for even a bus ticket, has walked more than 1,000 kilometres over two years to attend court proceedings to obtain a flight ticket to return home.
Jagannathan Selvaraj, who hails from Tiruchirappalli, braved traffic, heat, sandstorms and exhaustion as he made his way through the busy highways of Dubai, travelling a distance of 22 kilometre one way from his Sonapur accommodation to attend the labour court proceedings.
A bus trip from Sonapur to Karama costs a few dirhams, but Selvaraj did not have money to travel by bus and was forced to spend two hours for a one-way trip and another two hours for the return journey after every court hearing.
In the four hours, he covered a distance of 54 kilometres and had to undertake that journey every couple of weeks until a verdict on his case was delivered.
“My case number was 826 and I had to walk 2 hours in the morning to reach the court in Dubai. I used to get up early morning at 4 am on the days the court was to hear my case. Every 15 days, I had to walk all the way to the court because I did not have the money to pay for bus or taxi,” he said.
“Nobody helped me, but I must have attended the court at least 20 times during the two years. After every court hearing, I would hang around until evening to start the return trip. The walk was tough in summer but I did not have any other options. I wanted to escape from these problems,” he told ‘Khaleej Times’.
Selvaraj began his court journeys after his mother died back home in an accident and he was denied permission to go and attend her funeral.
Selvaraj’s plight has moved a lot of hearts and attracted international media attention. Netizens in India have been writing to Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj requesting her to help Selvaraj fly back to his home.
“I have asked for a report from the Indian Embassy in Dubai,” Swaraj tweeted.
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