x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Mercy flight for destitute worker

DUBAI // A former employee of a company that went bust will be flown home as soon as possible after suffering what his colleagues described as a nervous breakdown.

All of the 400 men who worked at Systems Engineering were left unemployed after the business folded.

The charity organisation assisting the stranded workers with food and air tickets said the man had become violent and irrational, taking his clothes off and lashing out at those who tried to restrain him.

"We are trying to arrange a ticket for him so he can go back to India and stay with his family," said Gurukulam Vijayan, the general co-ordinator of the Overseas Residents Malayalees Association. "We think he experienced a psychotic break because of the stress of the situation."

The 32-year-old painter from Andhra Pradesh had been working for the company for three years and earned Dh600 a month.

He said he took a loan of Dh6,000 from a bank in India and borrowed another Dh4,000 from a money lender to build himself a house and start a small farm back home. "The money lender has been harassing me for his money. I don't have anything to pay as I did not get my salary for the past five months," he said.

He said that he had two children and a wife to take care of and worried about how he would repay the money he borrowed.

His co-workers said that the man would bang doors at night and throw things. "He was handed over to the private security guards but was released later on. He also beat up workers who came to pacify him," a colleague said.