Telangana

Expatriates anxious about their families in Telangana

A security guard at King Kothi Hospital overlooks risks to help an infirm elderly woman get down from an ambulance and sit in a wheelchair to enter the hospital in Hyderabad on Wednesday, May 5, 2021.   | Photo Credit: RAMAKRISHNA G.

In the beginning of May 2021, a man in his early forties living in Atlanta, United States of America (USA), was filled with anxiety and helplessness. His old-aged father who lives in Hyderabad, Telangana, tested positive for coronavirus and was hospitalized. After going through multiple tests, he was discharged.

A few days later, the man who lives in Atlanta, Anirudh Vamsi’s (name changed on request) mother too tested positive.

Living more than 14,000 kilometres away, the Indian expatriate felt helpless. “I was at mercy of my family members, friends, and strangers who helped. My parents have become weak and are not able to hold conversations for a length over phone. The thoughts about their health are reoccurring,” Mr Anirudh said.

The turmoil is not limited to Mr Anirudh who continues to go through a tough time. USA is one of the favourite countries chosen by Telanganites to migrate. A huge pool of Indian expatriates from the State stays there for work. Now, this pool constantly has prayer on lips.

With the COVID-19 pandemic on rage, shortage of ventilator beds in major hospitals in Hyderabad, they are brimming with anxiety and concerns for safety of their parents, other family members staying in the State.

Their minds are filled with multiple questions- Who will come to help if both parents get infected? What if they need hospitalization? What if their vitals fluctuate after recovering? This list of questions is endless and keeps playing in loop.

With travel restrictions, options of flying to the city have slimmed down. They are left with little to do but rely on phone, online services, and explain COVID precautions. Their frequency of calls to home has increased.

They want to ensure their parents or family members do not contract COVID-19. One of the ways to do this is to cut down engagement with outside world to zilch. Technology is put to use to place online orders for groceries, medicines or other things. Another method is to ensure their families do not meet any one unless essential.

Meena Dheep, who stays in Florida, said that her sister’s children stay with her parents in Dilsukhnagar.

“I ask my parents not visit anyone’s home, and that to ensure no one visits our home. We paid our maid salary in advance and stopped her work at home. The children at home share the work burden. Rooms at home are distributed among them for sweeping and mopping,” said Mrs Meena.

Since grim news makes its way through phone, TVs, she tries to pep up her family's mood by taking them back to the good times they had with family and friends.

But some of the expatriates are at their wits end when their parents do not pay heed to the suggestions and step out for unessential work. They wonder about ways to convince their parents.

Volunteers are angels for expatriates

COVID-19 volunteers who are aiding in supply of oxygen, medicines, food and other resources are saviours in these tough times, especially for Indians living abroad. In Hyderabad, the volunteers are attending SOS calls for ICU beds, dropping medical resources at home.

Ravi Sambari from Relief Riders Hyderabad received a SOS call at 9.15 P.M. from a man who lives in UK. His old-aged parents stay in Warangal and were in need of oxygen cylinder as their saturation levels were dropping. With help of his team and others, Mr Ravi managed to arrange oxygen cylinder, a skilled healthcare professional who can fix the cylinder at home, online consultation by doctor. All this in the night.

“There is a lot of good in society which is saving lives,” said Mr Ravi.


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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 2:07:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/expatriates-anxious-about-their-families-in-telangana/article34527004.ece

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