An expatriate Indian man and his three-year-old daughter in Bahrain have been forced to rough it out in the open for the last six months after a business deal went sour.
A desperate Mohammad Sikandar Samrat and his daughter Sara have been living alternatively in a park, mosque and their car since November 2012 as his daughter does not have a passport and he is yet to get 65,000 Bahraini dinars owed to him by a Bahraini businessman, the Gulf Daily News reported on Monday.
The father-daughter duo was forced out in the open after his wife and their youngest daughter left for India in November last year.
"This has been going on for the last six months when I was forced to send my family home after I could no longer cope," Samrat told the newspaper in a Manama park where the two are currently taking shelter. His wife is a qualified nurse.
Though he has a small one-room apartment in Manama, he said it was impossible to stay there as there was no water or electricity.
According to Samrat, he was doing well running a small business for the Bahraini businessman getting marble and stone supplies from India for land reclamation projects.
However, all that changed in 2009.
"When I went to the gentleman to ask for money, he gave me seven cheques worth 40,000 Bahraini dinars - all of which bounced," Samrat was quoted as saying.
"He promised to pay me the money in instalments, but that never happened as well. Numerous visits to his office also yielded nothing."
He said he and his daughter spent very little time in his apartment and go to a mosque at 3 am when it opens and then spend the rest of the time in the park and a friend's car.
He also owed his landlord 1,000 Bahraini dinars but he said the latter was kind and had not put pressure on him.
The father and the daughter are surviving on a diet of khubuz or Arabic bread and chickpeas.
He said he could not apply for Sara's passport when she was born in July 2010 because he did not have any money then.
Now, he said, he has done all the paperwork for her passport.
"The (Indian) embassy has told me they need special permission from India to issue a passport since she is more than one year old," he said.
When contacted, an official in the embassy told the newspaper everything would be done to help the stranded Indian duo.
Samrat has also moved court against the defaulting businessman filing a criminal case.