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Coronaviruses-COVID-19--All you should know



In early 2020, a new kind of virus began generating headlines all over the world because of the unprecedented speed of its transmission. From its origins in a food market in Wuhan, China in December 2019 to countries as far-flung as the United States and the Philippines, the virus (officially named COVID-19) has infected tens of thousands, with a rising death toll now over 2,500.

What are the symptoms?
Doctors are learning new things about this virus every day. So far we know that COVID-19 may not initially cause any symptoms. You may carry the virus for 2 days or up to 2 weeks before you notice symptoms. Some common symptoms that have been specifically linked to the 2019 coronavirus include:

  • feeling short of breath
  • having a cough that gets more severe over time
  • a low-grade fever that gradually increases in temperature

When to seek help
If you experience any of the symptoms above and have traveled to China or been exposed to someone in a country where COVID-19 has been detected in the past 14 days, or have been in close contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19 within the last 14 days, call your doctor right away.

What causes coronaviruses?
Coronaviruses are zoonotic. This means they first develop in animals before developing in humans. For the virus to pass from animal to humans, a person has to come into close contact with an animal that carries the infection. Once the virus develops in people, coronaviruses can be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets. This is a technical name for the wet stuff that moves through the air when you cough or sneeze.

The viral material hangs out in these droplets and can be breathed into the respiratory tract (your windpipe and lungs), where the virus can then lead to an infection. The 2019 coronavirus hasn’t been definitively linked to a specific animal. But researchers believe that the virus may have been passed from bats to another animal – either snakes or pangolins – and then transmitted to humans. This transmission likely occurred in the open food market in Wuhan, China.

Who’s at increased risk?
You’re at a high risk for developing this virus if you come into contact with someone who’s carrying it, especially if you’ve been exposed to their saliva or been near them when they’ve coughed or sneezed. Washing your hands and disinfecting surfaces can help decrease your risk for catching this or other viruses.

Older men seem to be especially susceptible to the virus. A report by the World Health Organization (WHO) found that the median age of people testing positive for this coronavirus was around 45 years, and that over two-thirds of those people were male.

What treatments are available?
There’s currently no treatment specifically approved for the 2019 coronavirus, and no cure for an infection, although treatments and vaccines are currently under study. Instead, treatment focuses on managing symptoms as the virus runs its course.

Seek immediate medical help if you think you have COVID-19. Your doctor will recommend treatment for any symptoms or complications that develop. Other coronaviruses like SARS and MERS do have vaccines and treatments. Some treatments for these similar viruses include:
antiviral or retroviral medications
breathing support like mechanical ventilation
steroids to reduce lung swelling
blood plasma transfusions

How to prevent coronaviruses
The best way to prevent the spread of this virus is to avoid or limit contact with people who are showing symptoms of the virus and have traveled to infected countries in the past 14 days. The next best thing you can do is practice good hygiene to prevent bacteria and viruses from spreading. Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds at a time with warm water and soap.

Don’t touch your face, eyes, nose, or mouth when your hands are dirty.
Don’t go out if you’re feeling sick or have any cold or flu symptoms.
Cover your mouth with the inside of your elbow whenever you sneeze or cough. Throw away any tissues you use to blow your nose or sneeze right away.
Keep any objects you touch a lot clean. Use disinfectants on objects like phones, computers, utensils, dishware, and door handles.

Other types of coronaviruses
A coronavirus gets its name from the way it looks under a microscope.
The word corona means “crown,” and when examined closely, the round virus has a “crown” of proteins called peplomers jutting out from its center in every direction. These proteins help the virus identify whether it can infect its host. The condition known as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was also linked to a highly infectious coronavirus back in the early 2000s. The SARS virus has since been contained and found to be successfully treatable.

This isn’t the first time a coronavirus has made news – the deadly 2003 SARS outbreak was also caused by a coronavirus. As with the 2019 virus, the SARS virus was first found in animals before it spread to humans. The SARS virus is thought to have come from bats and then was transferred to another animal, and then to humans. Once transmitted to humans, the SARS virus began spreading quickly among people. What makes COVID-19 so newsworthy is that a treatment or cure hasn’t yet been developed to help prevent its rapid spread from person to person. SARS has been successfully contained and treated.

What’s the outlook?
First and foremost, don’t panic. You don’t need to wear a mask or be quarantined unless you’ve been diagnosed with this coronavirus. Following simple hygiene guidelines may help prevent you from developing this and other viruses. The 2019 coronavirus probably seems scary when you read the news about new deaths, quarantines, and travel bans.

But in context, the coronavirus is much less severe and widespread than more common and more threatening infectious conditions, like the flu. Stay calm and follow your doctor’s instructions if you’re diagnosed with a coronavirus infection so that you can recover and help prevent it from spreading.-K.T.


All flights to and from South Korea, Thailand and Italy cancelled due to COVID-19 outbreak



The Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Monday suspended all flights to and from South Korea, Thailand and Italy due to the new coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

In a press statement, the DGCA said the decision was taken upon a recommendation from the Ministry of Health following the confirmation of several COVID-19 infections in the three countries.It stated that all expats who visited these countries over the past two weeks will not be allowed to enter the country, even if they have valid visas, meanwhile Kuwaitis will be put in quarantine at special health facilities.

It added that no entry visas will be issued for those coming from the three countries.Earlier, the DGCA has also suspended all flights to and from Iraq. -KUNA


Kuwait cancelled all celebrations of the National and Liberation Days



The Kuwaiti Cabinet ordered the cancelation of all celebrations of the National and Liberation Days today and tomorrow, when thousands of Kuwaitis and expats normally take to the Gulf Road every year. Ministries, companies and even The Avenues mall all cancelled their planned celebrations on the occasion of the national and liberation days. The government is contemplating to suspend school next week as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the virus. Schools are off for three days, starting today, on the occasion of the national holidays.Kuwait Oil Company cancelled its celebration of the national holidays while many others are expected to follow suit. Kuwait Football Federation said it had cancelled an Asian club game between a Saudi and Iranian clubs that was due to be played in Kuwait because of a sports ban on Iranian teams.

Thousands of Shiites from Kuwait and other Gulf states travel to Iran regularly to visit holy shrines. The coronavirus cases could increase as hundreds of Kuwaitis who were brought back to the country aboard special flights from Iran are still quarantined inside a five-star hotel in Mangaf. Police with masks stood guard outside the Al-Kout Hotel, and no one from outside was allowed to come close. The people will remain in isolation for 14 days to make sure that no one is infected with COVID-19, as more Kuwaitis are expected to be repatriated from Iran, including 140 students of religious studies in the holy city of Qom and their family members.-K.T.




Strict action on pharmacies selling medical supplies at prices higher than set by Commerce Ministry



Minister of Commerce and Industry Khaled Al-Roudhan issued a Ministerial Decision on Monday setting prices of medical face masks. The ministry said in a statement that the minister issued the decision on basis of a letter from the Ministry of Health, recommending that masks’ prices be set between 100 fils and KD 1.320. It warned violators of the set rates would be punished according to relevant laws.The ministry added in its statement that the department of commercial supervision and consumer protection had devised a plan to monitor prices of medical utensils at pharmacies and medical centers to ensure adherence to the standard criteria and regulations..

Special teams have been assigned to inspect prices of the medical products in the local market, it said, urging citizens and residents to call on the phone Hotline 135 to report about any irregularities in this respect.Ministry of Trade and Commerce represented by the Consumer Protection and Commercial Supervision sector closed 5 pharmacies in various governorates of Kuwait after it raised the prices of some medical supplies, taking advantage of the consumers’ after MOH annouce infected cases of corona virus epidemic in Kuwait.

Any pharmacy or point of sale for medical protective supplies that exploits in the name of corona virus and raise prices will be closed immediately and referred to the commercial prosecution.Pharmacies should adhere to prices, and not to take advantage of such conditions to make money at the expense of consumer needs.- KUNA


Total Five infected with coronavirus as two more cases detected in Kuwait



The Kuwaiti Ministry of Health announced on Monday evening, that two travelers who arrived on the next flight from the Islamic Republic of Iran “from Tehran and Qom” have been infected at dawn today with the new Corona virus (Covid 19), bringing the number of confirmed cases of the virus to five cases so far.The ministry said in a statement to Kuwait News Agency that the two passengers were among the passengers on that flight, and they were placed in the compulsory quarantine, and they were transferred directly from the airport to one of the hospitals prepared and equipped to receive those infected with the new Corona virus (Covid 19) since their arrival because they suffer some symptoms of the disease, sources said that the two women, one of them, is 58 years old and the other is 28 years old.

The Ministry of Health called on all citizens and residents to adhere to the instructions issued by the competent authorities in order to preserve the health of the community.Informed sources had revealed that there are reports that the Ministry of Health will announce the monitoring of two new cases of the emerging coronavirus, after the results of its medical examinations appear.Today, Monday, the Ministry announced the registration of 3 virus infections.-A.T.



Metro Medical National Day Offer

Metro Medical National Day Offer


Indians in Kuwait

India all set to welcome US President Donald Trump today



US President Donald Trump, along with First Lady Melania Trump, is set to land in Ahmedabad on Monday on his maiden visit to India. US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will land at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad. The couple will then visit the Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram. In Ahmedabad, the US President will address the ‘Namastey Trump’ event at the Motera stadium along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at 1:00 pm. 

Security around the stadium has been tightened ahead of the event.Meanwhile, Sabarmati Ashram authorities have readied the premise to welcome the first couple of the United States. The part of the Sabarmati Ashram that leads out to the Riverfront now has a makeshift stage, where the state heads and the First Lady may make a stop.The US President along with First Lady Melania Trump will also visit the Taj Mahal in Agra on Monday. As part of security measures, the monument will be closed for tourists from 12 pm onwards.On his second day, the US President will receive the ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan in the national capital, following which he will lay a wreath at Rajghat, the samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi.


Council of Ministers will decide on private sector workers law amendments



In its meeting chaired by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled, the Council of Ministers will decide on the comments to be submitted by the government on the content of the first debate to amend Law No. 6 of 2010 regarding work in the private sector that was approved by the National Assembly in March 2019.

According to the text of the first discussion, the worker deserves an annual leave of not less than 35 paid days, during which official holidays , sick leaves, and weekly rest days are not counted, due after 6 months of serving the worker.

The government’s comments to the Parliament’s Health, Social and Labor Affairs Committee revolve around the retroactive effect of the number of annual vacation days and the percentage of insurance paid by the employer and deducted from the end of employee’s end-of-service benefits. Law enforcement in 2010.This is in addition to the number of days of leave that rose from 30 days to 35 paid and also sick days are not counted as part of the annual leaves, which did not include any controls.

This, and the first discussion also stipulated that the worker deserves a full end-of-service gratuity without deducting the sums paid for social insurance that the employer incurred when his service ended at the workplace, provided that the end of his service is after the date of work in the current law.


Travel bans imposed by Iran’s neighbors as coronavirus toll rises



Iran’s confirmed death toll from the new coronavirus rose to eight yesterday, the highest outside China, sending neighboring countries scrambling to contain the outbreak. Kuwait Port Authority announced a ban on the entry of all ships from Iran, while Turkey said it would “temporarily” shut its border with the country. Pakistan also said it was closing its frontier with the Islamic republic and Afghanistan banned all ground and air travel between the two nations.

The moves come amid growing regional concerns about the spread of the virus. Lebanon on Friday confirmed its first case – a 45-year-old Lebanese woman who had travelled from Qom in Iran – and Israel yesterday quarantined at home nearly 200 school pupils who came into contact with South Korean tourists who contracted the virus.All Kuwaitis returning from Iran have been sent home after filling questionnaires and health cards and after all tests and specimens taken proved they are free of any coronavirus infections. Returnees will be subjected to home quarantine during the virus incubation period under health ministry supervision.Iran yesterday reported three more novel coronavirus deaths among 15 new cases in the past 24 hours, taking its total number of fatalities to eight and infections to 43.-K.T.


New unified contract for recruiting domestic help of all nationalities goes into force



The Public Authority for Manpower’s domestic help department has started distribution of the new unified contract for recruiting domestic helpers. Head of domestic help offices Khalid Al-Dakhnan said the new contract is now valid, and offices can start recruiting according to its rules and conditions. He said there were two contracts previously – one for the offices and another for the Philippine Embassy.

The manpower authority said the new contract was the result of several studies by the authority, which approved it recently. The sources said the contract commits the employer to provide suitable residence equipped with appropriate living means for helpers, feed them, provide them with clothes, treat and nurse them, register them for health insurance and pay them at the end of every month, provided the salary is not less than what is mentioned in the contract, in exchange of a receipt signed by the worker.

Among the general rules in the new form is not to make the helper work for more than 12 hours a day, with five hours of work followed by one hour of rest, eight hours of nightly rest, a weekly day off and paid annual leave. The contract gives the worker the right to an indemnity equal to one month’s salary per year, while the employer should not keep any documents or IDs that belong to the helper.The helper’s residency cannot be transferred during the initial period, while committing those involved in a dispute to settle it at the domestic help department at the manpower authority. Commitment to the contract should be by the employer and their family members too.-K.T.


Dangers in spraying water during national day celebrations every year.



As Kuwait prepares to celebrate national holidays, head of ophthalmology department at Jaber Hospital, ophthalmology and retina consultant Dr. Jamal Al-Kandari, warned of the dangers of the phenomenon of spraying water that occurs in celebrations every year.

Al-Kandari said that some children usually take advantage of the atmosphere of celebrations to practice wrong behaviors; that is, spraying people with water, using water-guns, balloons, or plastic bags.Most of that water is usually not clean, but rather contains bacteria and viruses, sprinkling it on the eyes causes many serious injuries, some people go beyond the limit by adding substances, such as foam and other harmful liquids into that water, which affects the eye with irritation and become extremely sensitivity.The strong pressure of some water guns may injure the eye, and that the use of balloons containing stones or solid materials may cause permanent eye impairment, bleeding and loss of sight.The number of patients complain of injuries in the eyes, especially children, doubles during the national holidays period, and the injuries range from light to strong, leading to cases that have already suffered blindness.-A.T.



Block on all transactions of expats who brought relatives on visit visas and have not left the country

Block on all transactions of expats who brought relatives on visit visas and have not left the country 

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Anas Al-Saleh has issued instructions to the Assistant Undersecretary for Residence Affairs Major General Talal Ma’arafito block all transactions of expatriates who brought relatives on visit visas and have not left the country and are believed to be staying in the country illegally.

According to security the ‘block’ will be lifted after only if the proof of departure is submitted to the concerned department. The sources pointed out the Ministry of Interior had to take this step following the influx of people who entered the country either on business or visit visas and did not leave after the expiry of the visa. It is believed more than 30,000 people, most of them women and children, have not left the country after the expiry period of such visas.Majority of them are Syrians, who entered the country in the aftermath of the outbreak of the civil war in their country in 2011 and benefited from decisions taken on humanitarian grounds to alleviate their suffering.

The Immigration investigators will soon intensify the security campaigns to arrest and prosecute violators. However, the sources added, the only obstacle facing the security authorities is that these people do not leave their homes except in rare cases.What makes the matter worse is the fact that some claim to be bedoun and hide their identification documents, despite efforts by the Ministry of Interior to record their identities and movements. The source also pointed out that the Central System for Remedying of Situations of Illegal Residents (CSRSIR) has spotted cases belonging to this group who recently entered the country and has informed the Ministry of Interior to take necessary measures.-A.T.


No cases of coronavirus in Kuwait

No cases of coronavirus in Kuwait

Minister of Health Sheikh Dr Basel Al-Sabah has announced that his ministry is monitoring closely the latest updates about coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and has taken firm precautionary and preventive measures to counter the epidemic. In statements to KUNA, the minister asserted keenness to do all in power to maintain the country’s health security and protect it against the new disease through enforcement of a multifaceted and watertight plan.

Sheikh Basel pointed out the ministry is in contact with the World Health Organization around the clock to get updates about the global situation of the COVID-19 outbreak. He added Kuwait is also contacting other Gulf countries to follow up on recommendations, relevant precautions and practical steps to curb the spread of the virus. The ministry is cooperating at the same time with all relative national bodies to take all precautionary measures to help keep the country free from COVID-19, the minister said.

The health ministry has confirmed that there are no cases of COVID-19 in the country, denying social media reports of cases at Farwaniya or Jahra hospitals. Spokesman of the health ministry Abdullah Al-Sanad also said in a statement that “reported warnings against eating food at restaurants and linking them to a possible coronavirus outbreak are baseless”.-KUNA


No age limit for renewal of work permits of private sector’s expatriate employees

No age limit for renewal of work permits of private sector’s expatriate employees 

In reaction to the report published on Feb 15 regarding non-renewal or transfer of residencies for expatriate employees of the private sector who are above the age of 60 years, Deputy Director for Labor Affairs at Public Authority for Manpower Abdullah Al-Mutouteh says the concerned departments in all governorates will continue to receive applications for renewal of work permits of private sector’s expatriate employees irrespective of their age. Al-Mutouteh affirmed that, “As long as the employee is considered fit and capable of working, there will be no objection for the renewal of their work permits, even if they exceed 70 years of age”.He stressed that the Public Authority for Manpower has not yet set a specific age limit as a condition for the renewal of work permits for expatriates.-A.T.


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Kuwait opened an office for military engagement in India for cooperation in defense and security fields

Kuwait opened an office for military engagement in India for cooperation in defense and security fields

The State of Kuwait has opened an office for military engagement in the Republic of India in an effort to realize the wish of Kuwaiti leadership to increase cooperation between the two friendly countries in the defense and security fields.

In a statement to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), the Kuwaiti Ambassador to India Jassim Al-Najem said opening of the military office in New Delhi attests that there is a real desire to increase defense and security cooperation between the two friendly countries. During a reception hosted by the embassy to welcome head of the Military Liaison Officer Colonel Fahad Al-Shammari and Assistant Head of the Office Colonel Nawaf Al-Obaidan in the presence of Arab ambassadors and heads of Arab military officials in New Delhi, the Kuwaiti ambassador affirmed that the opening of the military office is an expression of a firm desire to enhance cooperation in the military fields between the two countries and is expected to help increase exchange visits by concerned officials and conducting bilateral and multilateral military exercises.

The opening of the Kuwait office for military engagement in New Delhi is a step of great importance in the bilateral relations between the two countries as both have made substantial progress in a number of fields, particularly trade and economic, since the diplomatic relations between the two countries began in June 1962, as India was one of the first countries to recognize Kuwait’s independence.

India had held an international military exhibition in the city of Lucknow in north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh earlier this month to highlight its military capabilities. The event, held every two years in an effort to turn India into a global center for defense industry, military delegations from 70 countries and more than 170 global companies alongside 850 Indian defense companies participated displaying advanced military and defence equipment.India also holds annual joint military exercises with a number of neighboring and Arab countries and global forces, particularly the US, Russia, China, the UK, Japan, Australia and France. India also imparts military training to personnel from neighboring and Arab countries in the Indian military institutes.-KUNA


Traffic campaigns resulted in the issuance of 36,000 citations and the arrest of 55 motorists

Traffic campaigns resulted in the issuance of 36,000 citations and the arrest of 55 motorists

General Traffic Department (GTD) under the supervision of the Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic and Operations Affairs of the Ministry of Interior Major General Jamal Al Sayegh launched traffic campaigns which resulted in the issuance of 36,000 citations and the arrest of 55 motorists of different nationalities for committing serious traffic offenses and impounded 26 vehicles and towed them to the ministry garage, seized eight vehicles wanted by law, arrested seven motorists for driving without licence and referred those arrested to the concerned authorities.

The largest number of violations, during the campaign was recorded in the Governorates of the Capital and Hawalli, followed by Jahra, Al-Ahmadi, Al-Farwaniya and Mubarak Al-Kabeer respectively. Giving a breakdown a security source said the Capital Governorate recorded 7,474 violations and 22 arrests; Hawalli accounted for 6,863 violations, 5 arrests and 3 vehicles impounded. In Al-Farwaniya 15 motorists were arrested including 4 wanted by law for criminal and civil offences, and 3 wanted vehicles were seized and 4,278 citations were issued. In Jahra 4,542 citations were issued and three motorists were arrested and two vehicles were seized. As for the Mubarak Al-Kabeer Traffic Department, 2023 citations were issued, three motorists were arrested.-A.T.


Temporary power cuts in parts of Kuwait for maintenance

Temporary power cuts in parts of Kuwait for maintenance

Some areas in Kuwait might experience temporary power cuts in the coming few days as the Ministry of Electricity and Water is carrying out a comprehensive maintenance plan for power stations to boost the grid’s production capacity in parallel with population increase. According to a statement the ministry made available to the press yesterday, power cuts are expected to occur from 8:00 am to 11:00 am for five days in the following areas: Mangaf, Um Al-Haiman, Fahad Al-Ahmad, Hadiya and Mahboula in Ahmadi Governorate, Salmiya and Hawally in Hawally Governorate, Faiha, Kaifan, Mansouriya, Mirqab and Ghernata in the Capital Governorate, as well as Omariya, Rabiya and Ferdous in Farwaniya Governorate. -K.T.


Kuwait stopped all flights to and from Iran due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus

Kuwait on Thursday stopped all flights to and from Iran due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus. The Ministry of Health has called for avoiding travel to the Iranian city of Qom, and announced that a quarantine will be imposed on all those coming to Kuwait.
This measures have been taken by Kuwait authority to prevent spread of virus.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Health has recommended not to travel to the city of Qom in Iran and all arrivals will be quarantined.The Ministry’s recommendations were based on the latest developments in the spread of the Corona virus, COVID-19, and a follow-up of the latest developments around the world regarding the epidemic situation of the virus regionally and globally.The recommendations included suspension of flights to and fro from Islamic Republic of Iran and stop issuing entry visas to the country for those coming from Iran or those who visited them during the last two weeks and may be present in other countries, stressing concern for the health and safety of citizens and residents.-A.T.


Paarivallal Friends Association (PFA), Kuwait honored Mr. Mathi, with “SEVAI CHEMMAL” Award

Paarivallal Friends Association (PFA), Kuwait honored Mr. Mathi, with “SEVAI CHEMMAL” Award

Paarivallal Friends Association (PFA), Kuwait & Sami V Charitable Trust honoured Mr. Mathi, Gen. Secretary, Indian Frontliners for his 25 years of social activities with “Sevai chemmal” Award in its 15th year annual function held on 16th February 2020. 


Paarivallal Friends Association, Kuwait conducts a function to distribute the welfare funds to the beneficiaries every year and this year the function was held at Sami V Landmarks hall, Aranthangi, Tamilnadu, India.  PFA President Mr.S.Chelladurai presides the function; PFA founder and General Secretary Dr. Sami P Venkat welcomed all and announced the various good deeds done by PFA and explained the social & charity work done by PFA.

In order to recognize the social activities doing by Mr. K Mathi for the past 25 years in Kuwait, PFA honoured him with “SEVAI SEMMAL” award and Mr. Mathi delivered the acceptance speech. 

Mr. C. Jayabalan, MD – Kuwait Grand Udhayam catering, Aranthangi Traders Association President Mr. A. Varatharajan, Aranthangi Rotary Club President Mr. K. Sureshkumar, Aranthangi The Port City Rotary Club President Dr. S. Vijay, Aranthangi Community Club coordinator Mr. T. Kumaresan, Porantha Urukku Pugal Seru coordinator Mr. P.K. Srithar, Karathe Brothers Social Walfare Trust Treasurer Mr. S. Vishva Moorthy, Thisaikal Student Guidance Association President Dr. Dhetchanamoorthy, Chief Executives of the Sami V Charitable Trust and other local Social Activists graced the occasion as special guest and distributed the welfare fund to the beneficiaries. Welfare fund was handed over directly to 25 families and the total value of the fund distributed this year was 5 Lakhs Rupees. 

DSC 0493

PFA members, local VIPs and beneficiaries are all presented in the event and the vote of thanks proposed by Dr. C. Srinivasan, Advisor - Sami V Charitable Trust & the whole event was compered well by Mr. M. Palanidurai, Coordinator, Sami V Charitable Trust.  

K. Venkata Mathi – A Life dedicated to Service

DSC 0346Khalil Gibran wrote “I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy”. Keerani Mr. Venkata Mathi, General Secretary, Indian Frontliners, Kuwait is one such person for whom life is all service. Mathi, as he is popularly known, has spent more than 25 years in Kuwait and thousands of Indians who benefited from his service and assistance at the crucial time their life, will be eternally thankful for his presence in Kuwait. 

Many expatriates, in a foreign land far away from native place, go through patches of difficult situation ranging from poverty, sickness, ill treatment to family & legal problems at various times during their stay. Many of us, on seeing a poor or sick person or an ill-treated servant or someone in a distress situation, may feel pity and empathise with them. However, true compassion means not only feeling others pain but also being moved to help others. Mr. Mathi is one such person whose natural instinct is to swing into action to extend a helping hand in whatever way possible.

The achievement of Mr. Mathi is all the more astounding as, hailing from a simple family in the Village Keerani (near Devakottai in Tamil Nadu), his own financial resources were very limited. But, as it is said, “You give but little when you give your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give”. Mr. Mathi has wholeheartedly dedicated his life, energy and time to sought out and provide the needed assistance to others. He has travelled hundreds of kilometres across Kuwait at all weathers – peak of the summer, shivering cold winds, dust storms etc.,- just to solve the problems of others.

Mr. Mathi’s life of service to others initially started with a small circle. When he came to Kuwait he came across a number of cases of stranded Maids in distress, workers struck up in Kuwait without any money, sick people with no one to look after them, labourers at remote camps working under extremely trying conditions, workers with visa problem etc., These issues were caused by greedy people, unscrupulous employment agents, lack of knowledge of visa procedures, corrupt systems etc, and resolving them were beyond the capacity of any one individual. But Mr. Mathi acted in the way Mother Theresa advised to all “Do not wait for a leader; Do it alone – as a person to person; if you cannot feed hundred, feed one”. 

DSC 0359It is natural that Mr. Mathi’s self-less service attracted many others with similar attitude. By becoming part of the Indian Frontliners, an organization founded by Mr. N.C. Mohandoss with a motive to help needy Indians in Kuwait, Mr. Mathi could raise the level & reach of the assistance that he could provide to those in distress situation. Mr. Mathi became an integral part of Indian Frontliners, starting as a common member he rose to Secretary (Labour wing) and is now functioning as the General Secretary of the organization. Mr. Mathi’s contribution was evident in the successful conduct of various functions by Frontliners organization. 

Mr. Mathi had undertaken social service work even during his college days in India. Hence, the deeds of kindness were of a way of like for him, as if he was a boy scout. He has written letters on behalf of illiterate servants to their families in India; He has visited Hospitals to speak to those who did not had anybody in Kuwait to look after them and established channels of communication between them and the anxious families in remote corners of India; His visits were a psychological booster for the patients who were feeling depressed, alone and uncared; He also had carried out the sad task of arranging for the bodies of Indians who died without any relatives or friends in Kuwait to be sent to India after completing all the required legal formalities. In a few cases he had to arrange for the last rites and burial of the body in Kuwait itself. Every act of Mathi, whether small or big, touched the lives of many people.

Mr. Mathi had excellent talents that facilitated him to enlarge the scope of the Good Samaritan tasks that he was carrying on. He had been an excellent student with good oratorical skill and organisational abilities. He had been publishing a Student’s Newsletter every week in his college time. He was the Secretary of Students Tamil Literature club and had won many oratorical competitions. He had been the main speaker on behalf of students’ union in the college functions. He was the Joint secretary of Music & Drama club and is well versed in the finer aspects of arranging public functions and art performances. The leadership talents, ability to motivate others to work as a team for achieving a common purpose, inter-acting with people at various strata of the society, managing social funds etc., were evident even during his college days. The sincerity and honesty of his interventions and his negotiating skills enabled the settlement of many disputes amicably with the Kuwait sponsors for the benefit of the Indian labourer or maid in Kuwait.

DSC 0516Mr. Mathi was closely associated with the Indian Embaassy and became well versed in all the rules and regulations, both of Indian as well as Kuwait, concerning expatriates. The guidance that was provided by him and others under his co-ordination facilitated the smooth resolving of many ticklish procedural problems concerning Passports, Visa or Immigration. He has put in untiring efforts during the Amnesty periods announced by the Government of Kuwait and facilitated easy legal exit for innumerable number of visa offenders. Mr. Mathi was instrumental in assisting the officials of Indian Embassy to ensure the suspension of the death sentence of two Indians just three days before the scheduled date of execution in the year 2013. Recently Kuwait government suspended the death sentence to Indian National Mr. Arjunan who was in jail for a murder case; Mathi provided the necessary support for his family to approach the right channels and also helping them to mobilize some fund to pay blood money.

Mr. Mathi’s social service activities extend to India also. His helping hands work tirelessly without any pause with activities ranging from visits to Orphanages & Old-age homes to arranging mass marriage functions. Recently, he organized a reunion of the students of his college alma mater after 28 years and raised fund as donations from them for charitable cause. 

Mathi has been rendering social service for decades and most of his assistances went un-recorded in the earlier days when there was no social media; no mobile phones with camera; However, we can be sure that it is etched permanently in the hearts and memories of those who were witness to his selfless service. As he considered that a person offering to help others should never add any burden in the process, he never allowed others to be troubled in any manner. In fact, he even used to carry his own water bottle, so that the others need not incur any cost for providing water to him. He kept detailed account of every penny that was collected and spent and thus enjoyed total confidence and trust of all.

Mr. Mathi’s immense contribution to the Indian Community over the years had been recognized at various levels. He has received the ‘Best Social Activist’ award from Indian Frontliners, Kuwait Tamil Sangam and Senthamil Kalai Mandram, Kuwait. As his service is extended to all persons without any discrimination, he was appropriately awarded the title ‘Samathuva Chemmal’ by Thaai mann Kalai Ilakkia Peravai. The significant contribution made by him in Kuwait was acknowledged in India by the ‘Annai Theresa Award’ conferred on him by Media 7 News Channel.

Despite all the awards, Mr. Mathi continues to be the simple and modest person that he has always been. He is a well-known and readily recognized figure among the Indian community in Kuwait. He is best known among the working class as the person to be approached whenever any assistance is required. He is easily approachable for everyone and attends to each request for assistance as if it were his own personal requirement. It is his simplicity, the smiling face, the pleasant and soothing demeanour that encourages even total strangers to approach him for help without any hesitation. As service is just a way-of-life for him, he modestly passes on all credits to his friends, the Embassy of India and the Indian diaspora in Kuwait who have been supporting all his efforts. 

Mr. Mathi is an extraordinary person whose heart beats not just for him, but for others. Surely, there cannot be any better example than Mathi for any common person to follow.


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