THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:It was a tearful reunion for partially-paralysed Nabeesa Beevi with her relatives at the International Airport here after she was repatriated from the Maldives, following the intervention of the state government and expatriate Indians in the island nation. Nabeesa was married off to Maldivian national Abubacker Ibrahim in 1992, in a ‘Malekalyanam’, a practice in which girls from poor families are given in marriage to wealthy Maldivians. She gave birth to three children, who died soon after birth.
Nabeesa was paralysed waist down during the delivery of her third child. After her husband’s death over a year ago, the Maldivian government took care of her.
However, Nabeesa wanted to return to her homeland. Her plight, along with that of other victims of ‘Malekalayanam’ was reported by Express last month. Nabeesa’s sisters Khadija, Zubeida and Haseena were eagerly waiting to see her, hours before the Air India Flight 264 made touchdown at the airport here. At around 1:15 pm, a frail-looking Nabeesa was wheeled out of the airport, accompanied by Musthak S C, Executive Member of the India Club, Maldives, who played a key role in facilitating her repatriation.
Officials of the Kerala Social Security Mission and the Social Justice Department welcomed Nabeesa with bouquets. She was hugged by her two sisters, who were seeing her after a gap of five years.
“I am happy to be reunited with my sisters. I was hopeful that someday I would be able to set foot on my homeland,” Nabeesa told mediapersons. Her voice was feeble, but relief was writ large on her face.
Kerala Social Security Mission Director T P Ashraf said that Nabeesa would be temporarily lodged at the Vanitha Vikalanga Sadanam. “We will assign a caregiver to look after her at the Sadanam. If her sisters agree to take care of her, then the caregiver’s service will be provided at their house,” he said.
‘Many Still in the Jails’
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It was the active involvement of the members of the India Club, Maldives which brought Nabeesa’s plight out in the open.
Seeing the media reports, Social Justice Minister M K Muneer wrote to the Indian High Commission in Maldives expressing the state government’s willingness to take care of her.
The Indian High Commission, in partnership with the India Club, bore the expenses of her return flight and other paper work.
Speaking to ‘Express’, Mushtak of India Club, Maldives, said that there were many other victims of ‘Malekalyanam’ who were languishing in the island nation. “There should be proper awareness among the public about the dangers of ‘Malekalyanam’ as most of the women married off under this practice are either abandoned or are living in very pitiable conditions,” he said.