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Crippled in Kuwait accident, Goan dies waiting for employers to settle claims

Margao: In what could be called one of life’s tragedies, a Fatorda man, who returned to his home state after surviving a road accident that left him crippled, died almost a year later still waiting for his accident claim benefits to be settled by his overseas employers.Two months after his death, Dileep Dhamasker’s family is still waiting to hear from authorities about the fate of his accident claims and employment settlement benefits.Dhamasker, the sole breadwinner of the household, is survived by his wife and son, a college going student. “They have no source of income, and are making do with whatever meagre savings Dhamasker left behind,” a source close to the family said.Enticed by the greener pastures of the Middle East, Dhamasker of Agalli, Fatorda, migrated to Kuwait in 1993 in the hope of securing a bright future. However, after working for over 22 years, 57-year-old Dhamasker returned home crippled for life.
He had narrated his ordeal to TOI a few days before his death. A road accident in Kuwait, on October 13, 2015, he said had left him grievously injured, and he was yet to recover fully. The accident had caused him to lose his job. To make matters worse, Dhamasker was deprived of medical insurance by his employers, forcing him to pay for his entire treatment that had cost him over Rs 12 lakh.Dhamasker worked at a printing press in Kuwait as a plant maintenance manager. The road accident had resulted in his right hip joint getting dislocated. “Before shifting me to a hospital, the police kept my identity card with them and asked me to send my employer’s representative to facilitate my insurance claim. I was admitted to the Al Razi hospital where I was operated on for hip joint dislocation the same night. However, despite the operation, I could not lift my right leg, and, thus, couldn’t walk. I then decided to ask for discharge from the hospital so that I could travel to India and seek further medical care,” he had said. The police, however, delayed in returning Dhamasker’s identity card, and thus the hospital authorities failed to file his medical insurance claim.Back in Goa, the arthroscopy procedure was carried out on Dhamasker’s right knee on October 31, 2015, following which he underwent physiotherapy for mobilization. However, when Dhamasker went back to Kuwait to resume his duties, he was informed that his services were summarily terminated, though he had not received the monetary benefits he was entitled to.
Dhamasker then returned to Goa for treatment as his post-operative recovery was not satisfactory. More physiotherapy and intensive doses of muscle stimulation later, he recovered significantly, but was still unable to climb stairs or stand long stretches. “I have spent all my life’s savings on my treatment, which has so far cost me over Rs 12 lakh. Besides, I have to spend Rs 3,000 per week on my medicines,” Dhamasker had said.Intervention by South Goa MP Narendra Sawaikar helped the case reach the ministry of external affairs. However, the anguish and frustration caused by the indifference of authorities towards his pleas for settling his medical insurance claim and the service termination benefits he was legally entitled to, took a further toll on Dhamasker’s health, leading to his abrupt death. [TOI]

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