Gulf News readers have given a new lease of life to two Indian women whose education hit a roadblock after their brother was murdered in Abu Dhabi.
As Gulf News reported in August, Subin Varghese, 22, an electrician, was allegedly stabbed to death in a group fight at a labour accommodation. He was taking care of the educational expenses of his two younger sisters.
"Apart from the loss of my son, the uncertainty of my daughters' education also haunted us," his father, Babu Augustine, 50, said.
"But the unexpected support from Gulf News readers has given a new lease of life to my daughters and to the whole family," he said over the phone from Kerala.
Among the two sisters, the older one, 20, is pursuing a B.Sc nursing course and the younger one, 18, recently joined a General Nursing course as her late brother had suggested. Their father, an auto rickshaw driver, was unable to fund his daughters' education.
Following a Gulf News report about the plight of the family, Youth India, an Indian voluntary organisation working in the UAE and India, set up a committee in the family's village to coordinate the efforts to help. The six-member committee with Father Jose Mukalel, the vicar of the local church, as the patron, the father of the family, representatives of local government, local community and Youth India as the members also opened a bank account to receive monetary help, said Anvar Hussain, President of Youth India in the UAE.
The committee made a budget of Rs800,000 (about Dh57,000) for the mission, including Rs600,000 for education of the sisters and Rs200,000 for the family's expenses, he said.
Gaurav Sinha, Managing Director of Insignia FZ LLC in Dubai, offered to sponsor Rs600,000 over the next four years for the sisters' education. He has already sent one instalment of fees.
He and his wife Lucy Bruce have been doing charity work through Harmony House, a day shelter they set up for street children in India. "We have around 170 children for whom we provide health care, education, food and clothing.
"The charity is supported by our friends and Insignia underwrites its costs of operation. I think it's important for any organisation to give back to the community in some way," Sinha said. Freeman Maintenance and Contracting LLC, Dubai, contributed Dh10,000.
Marthoma Church Abu Dhabi, Dr Sankaran in Dubai and an Indian woman in Dubai who did not want to be named also made contributions to help the family.
Hussain said setting up the committee made it easier to coordinate and helped with transparency and the effective use of the funds. The ultimate goal is to ensure that all the money contributed is used effectively and for long-term benefits of the beneficiary, he said.
The committee will be in regular touch with the sisters' educational institutions and their parents to ensure that their fees are paid regularly and they complete their studies successfully.
The committee will update the donors about the progress of their studies through Youth India, Father Mukalel said.