Facebook helps identify patient found unconscious in Saudi

Facebook helps identify patient found unconscious in Saudi

Facebook helps identify patient found unconscious in Saudi

Written by Staff Writer

18 Dec, 2013 | 2:38 pm

Facebook, the social media platform often in the news for all the wrong reasons, proved to be a life-saver for an Indian expatriate suffering from brain tumor and amnesia.

Three months after he was found in an unconscious state in front of the Indian Consulate, the man was finally identified as Dhanigaivel Gunasekaran from Villipuram district in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, thanks to some Tamil community organizations posting his picture on Facebook. This was shared by over 8,000 people and one of them recognized him. That’s a one in 8,000 chance that you can be identified through social media platforms!

Consulate officials, who found him in October, referred Gunasekaran to a private hospital for treatment, where he was diagnosed as suffering from brain tumor and subsequent loss of memory.

Facebook_helpsHe was unable to recall his name, home town, sponsor’s name or passport particulars, posing a challenge to Indian authorities who were trying to establish details to facilitate his return.

Though the amnesty was in effect then, Gunasekaran couldn’t take advantage of it because of the lack of identity. It was then that the Indian Consulate roped in some Tamil community organizations and one such organization, Sentamil Nala Mandaram, not only managed to establish his identity through Facebook but also traced his family.

Sehar Pandian from the organization told Arab News: “Gunasekaran’s photo was shared with over 8,000 people in India, and one of them recognized him and called us.”

Fortunately, his wife had photo copies of his visa-endorsed passport, and based on these documents, the Indian Consulate contacted officials in India who traced the manpower agent who sent Gunasekaran to the Kingdom. The agent provided the Saudi sponsor’s particulars to the consulate, said consul S.R.H. Fahmi.

Based on the information, the sponsor was traced in Taif and it was found that Gunasekaran was recruited to work as his personal driver in 2009. It also came to light that the expat after working for a short while ran away from his sponsor.

The consulate contacted the sponsor and briefed him about Gunasekaran’s health condition, but the sponsor refused to cooperate in the deportation process.

Indian Consul General Faiz Ahmed Kidwai then took up the matter with Taif Gov. Fahd Moaamer who in turn summoned the Saudi sponsor and arranged for Gunasekaran’s exit. The Indian mission paid his medical bill as also the penalty at the Passport Office in Taif and airfare to India.

Prior to his departure, Arab News visited Gunasekaran in hospital and found him crying. The Tamil expatriate community thanked the Indian Consulate for all the help.

Kidwai also requested the Tamil Nadu state government to provide the destitute Indian with medical attention on his arrival in Chennai. He has since been admitted to a hospital.

Arab News

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