A man who has been a source of succour for South Asian expats and a man who was seen in the forefront of repatriating the mortal remains, is bidding adieu to Oman after more than four decades following his retirement from a private company.
PM Jabir needs no introduction among the expats, especially among the Indian diaspora for there would be hardly anyone who has not contacted this man either for himself or for someone else in the Sultanate of Oman.
“It has been an eventful journey,” says Jabir. “Finding time for social service after long hours of work has been strenuous but turning back, I’m contended that I could reach out to thousands of people who had some problems that needed the attention of either the local authorities or of the concerned authorities back home,” said Jabir, who served Salam Insurance for over a decade.
His mobile number has been widely known to majority blue-collar workers for many of the illiterates, he was a source of support and guide to handle issues whenever they stumbled in the course since 1982. Those who needed repatriation after falling sick would not hesitate to dial his number because they were assured of support at the earliest.
His networking with the authorities, connections to top brass in home countries, availability of volunteers and finally, the corporates who trusted Jabir and extended their support to benefit the downtrodden are all his strengths that helped him wipe the tears of many.
“I remember, his services were so much useful during the Covid-19 when he, in cooperation with Oman authorities, extended help and support in the form of food and medicines and repatriation to hundreds of people irrespective of their nationalities or any other differences,” an official from Indian embassy told the Observer.
It was the request from the Indian Embassy in the 1980s that prompted Jabir to take up social service big time
He is the founding member of the Kerala Wing, an association formed under the Indian Social Club that stood for a social cause. The Kairali Arts Club, formed in 1988 has been instrumental in rendering help and support during the natural calamities that faced the Sultanate from time to time.
His journey was recently documented in a book ‘Experiences Sans Preface’ by Haroon Rasheed.
Currently serving the Indian Social Club as the ‘Chairman-Welfare’, Jabir is the Member of Expatriate Development Fund, Member of Planning Board and Norka Roots World Pravasi Chair in the Indian state of Kerala.
His wife Shahanas and children Wailana and Juliana are, according to him, the strong pillars that supported him in 41-year-old social service.
“Serving the society has always been in my blood and I’ll continue doing so till my last breath.”
He feels that his destiny would have been different had not it been to the kindness and unconditional support extended by the Omani authorities.
“I am grateful to the authorities like the ROP, the Majlis Ash’shura members and Ministry of Health,” Jabir concluded, holding back tears for the country that has been his home for more than four decades.