Bahrain, Aug 8: AN Indian labourer with HIV has died shortly after arrangements were finally made to send him home to a family he has not seen in over 15 years, it was revealed yesterday.
Now instead of a reunion, Muthanna Poshanna's three grown up children are waiting to collect their father's remains in Andhra Pradesh.
Poshanna, a free visa worker, died at Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) from complications involving Tuberculosis (TB) and his HIV, the virus that causes Aids.
Indian Embassy officials and local volunteers had already finalised details of his return home in May, but were advised by doctors to postpone the trip due to Mr Poshanna's deteriorating health.
"He was not fit to travel back home," said Surya Charitable and Cultural Association (SCCA) general secretary K R Nair.
"We tried to send him home as he was eager to see his family after all these years, but his condition was bad and he could not travel."
Officials said they had to wait for the decision of Poshanna's family on what to do with his remains.
"The family has sent us word that they would like him cremated and we are already making arrangements for that," said Mr Nair.
"The body will be cremated in Bahrain soon."
Friends took Poshanna, aged 46, to SMC on February 1 when they said he was so ill in their accommodation he was unable to move.
Poshanna, who came to Bahrain in 1991, told the GDN in April that his Bahraini sponsor took his passport away and left him to find work for himself.
He eventually found work as a labourer, but since arriving in Bahrain he had not even been home once to visit his wife and three children.
His wife died of cancer last year and his children are now all grown up.
During his last interview with the GDN, Mr Poshanna said he hoped his two sons and one daughter would not mind taking care of him.
It was not known how the patient acquired the HIV and despite explanations by doctors, Poshanna was unable to fully grasp what his disease meant.
The embassy did its best to send him home to Andhra Pradesh as soon as possible, under the rule that any expatriate found with HIV must leave Bahrain immediately.
Generous members of the public donated "hundreds of dinars" for Poshanna to take back home with him, said Nair.
The money is now being sent to the worker's children in India.
"We also thank the donors of the air ticket to India," said Nair.
"We are returning this ticket to the donors, but they are willing to cash the ticket - we'd be more than happy to send the money to the family in India as well."