Mum of two released from jail, husband still behind bars

MOmAn Indian woman released from jail after nine months is pleading for the release of her husband who remains in prison due to unpaid debts.
Mary Ajanta, 50, was reunited with her teenage sons Cruz, 19, and Rich, 14, after well-wishers cleared her outstanding dues.
Her husband V. Augustine, however, continues to languish behind bars as he still owes Dh200,000 to his creditors.
“We are not criminals, but victims of circumstances,” said Ajanta, explaining how for three years they were not even able to pay the Dh27,000 annual rent of their modest two bedroom apartment in Karama.
Last month, her sons were on the verge of becoming homeless as the landlord threatened to disconnect their electricity and water. “Mercifully, the Indian consulate got an Indian firm to intervene and pay the outstanding rent,” said Cruz.
Augustine ran a small air conditioning business after relocating to Dubai from India 32 years back. But during the recent economic downturn, his business suddenly collapsed. “Our customers stopped paying us and we were forced to take loans to repay our suppliers,” said Ajanta.
As their debts piled up, things went from bad to worse, with Cruz dropping out of school as the couple was unable to pay his fees.
It was only a matter of time before Ajanta and Augustine ended up behind bars. With both parents in jail, the children were completely on their own until social workers Latha Siby and Lissy Mathews came to their rescue.
While Mathews helped get Ajanta out of jail, Siby looked after the children.
“The house had only one air-conditioner. It would have been difficult for them in the summer, so we got someone to donate another AC,” said Siby.
Ajanta said she is grateful to authorities in Dubai and the Indian Consulate for expediting her release. “We have lived in the UAE for more than three decades and have no one back home. I hope my husband is released soon and we are able to start life afresh.


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