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Kuwait building fire: Punjab man who died in Kuwait fire was his family's sole breadwinner

Himat Rai, a native of Hoshiarpur, was one of the victims of a terrible fire in Mangaf, southern Kuwait.

Reported by:  PTC News Desk  Edited by:  Annesha Barua -- June 14th 2024 02:50 PM
Kuwait building fire: Punjab man who died in Kuwait fire was his family's sole breadwinner

Kuwait building fire: Punjab man who died in Kuwait fire was his family's sole breadwinner

PTC News Desk: Himat Rai, a native of Hoshiarpur, was the only provider for his family and was among those murdered in a terrible fire in Mangaf, southern Kuwait.

His family is in a state of shock on the news of the tragedy; they reside in the Hoshiarpur neighbourhood of Kakkon. Himat Rai (62), a native of Salempur village in the Hoshiarpur district, was one of the victims of the devastating fire in the Middle Eastern nation on Wednesday, according to government sources.

The bulk of the at least 49 fatalities from the June 12 fire at the Al-Mangaf building were Indian citizens; the remaining victims were Pakistani, Filipino, Egyptian, and Nepalese nationals. The structure was home to about 195 migrant labourers in the Mangaf neighbourhood in southern Kuwait. Rai is survived by his wife, two daughters who are married, and a little baby.

Since Thursday night, people from all walks of life have flocked to Himat Rai's home to offer their condolences to the family that has lost a loved one.

Sarbjit Kaur, the wife of Rai, stated on Friday that her husband is the family's only provider of income. About thirty years ago, he moved from India to Kuwait to work for an NBTC company. According to his family, he was employed by the company as a foreman in the fabrication division.

Amandeep Kaur, 35, and Sumandeep Kaur, 32, are his married daughters, while Arshdeep Singh, 16, is a student in Class 10 at Government School, Baghpur. The family relocated from Salempur village to their newly built home in Kakkon in 2012. One of Rai's coworkers called Arshdeep on Thursday to let him know that his father had perished in the fire.

At first, the family was shocked by the news and quickly got in touch with a relative who was employed by the same company in Kuwait to inquire about Rai's well-being. Their relative told them that Rai had been taken to the hospital's emergency room, but they later learned that he had passed away.

Before leaving for Kuwait last year, Rai spent around two months visiting his home. Tuesday was when he last communicated with his family. Rai never talked to his family about his income, but according to his wife, he always gave them whatever cash they required to cover their bills.

Sumandeep Kaur, his younger daughter, claimed that her father's living quarters were small. Her father had informed her that he worked out every day while seated on the steps.

He had earlier said that although living circumstances in the Kuwaiti building were good, the space had recently become claustrophobic due to the partitioning of the apartments. She claimed that the building was home to about 195 people, including her father.

"People could have easily escaped" if the building had not been "so congested," according to Sumandeep.

The family claimed to be unaware of any aid that NBTC in Kuwait was offering to the relatives of the victims.

They expressed their continued hope that the Kuwaiti government and the corporation will offer genuine assistance to cover their living expenses.

On Friday, Hoshiarpur Deputy Commissioner Komal Mittal announced that administration representatives had been to Delhi to collect Rai's remains. According to her, Rai's family would receive all forms of support as instructed by the government.

In addition, two family members have traveled to Delhi to collect the body, which is anticipated to arrive on Friday night. Sumandeep added that his cremation would happen on Saturday. 

- With inputs from agencies

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