'Feels Like A Dream': Cleaner In UAE Awarded Dh100,000, Has No Plans To Quit Job


(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Sun 10 Dec 2023, 6:20 PM

Last updated: Sun 10 Dec 2023, 8:54 PM

Still in shock, Pameela Krishnan, winner of the top spot in the inaugural Emirates Labour Market Award's Distinguished Workforce - Other Professional Levels category, wonders if she is still dreaming about it all.

"Standing in front of so many distinguished guests and government officials when I went to receive my trophy, I was in a state of shock, but I also felt happy. I feel I am still dreaming," Pameela said, beaming joyfully.

The 51-year-old, who speaks only Malayalam, was given a trophy and a certificate on November 23 along with other winners. "I have won many awards in my company, Canadian Medical Centre (CMC), but this is the first time I have received from elsewhere," she said. The native from Palakkad district, Kerala, was recently handed over the token cheque of Dh100,000 at a special awards ceremony.

"When Pameela went to collect her award , we were worried that she might be scared, but she was so confident and didn't show any nervousness," said her colleague Sreeja. "For us, that moment was as if she was winning an Oscar award."

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When asked why the company nominated Pameela for the award, Sreeja responded without hesitation, "It is because of her dedication and hard work. She has been at this branch (of CMC) in Delma Street for 13 years. I have worked with her for five years and can see her effort. Under any circumstances, you will find her smiling and giving her 100%."

Mohammed Salman Faris, who has been Pameela's colleague for seven years and serves as the supervisor of the cleaning facility, humorously remarked, "After receiving the award, we inquired if she intended to resign from her job and return to India. Her response was a resounding no."

Pameela chimes in, "I will only leave my job at CMC when the arbab (boss) instructs me to do so; otherwise, I am committed to working for as long as I am able."

When Khaleej Times suggested that her recent windfall could significantly boost her financial situation and possibly render her free from the need to work, Pameela responded, "I have lots of responsibilities."

Translating Pameela's response, Mohammed Salman conveyed, "She incurred a substantial loan for constructing her house. Additionally, she borrowed money for her son and daughter's weddings, and took a loan to purchase gold jewellery. The Dh100,000 will be immensely helpful in alleviating her financial burden and settling these loans."

Sreeja informed, "Pameela borrowed money in India, an amount equal to Dh55,000, to build her house and an additional Dh40,000 to cover two wedding expenses."

When the money is transferred to her account, Pameela intends to set aside Dh20,000. Expressing a sense of relief, she remarked, "I will use the funds to pay off my loan, and begin saving from my salary from now on."

In addition to the Dh100,000 reward, Pameela was given a life insurance policy, a shopping card, a Fazaa card (discount card), a Dh5 gold coin, and a two-night stay at a five-star hotel as part of the recognition.

Pameela Krishnan. Photo: Supplied

"I am eternally thankful to my boss, Mubarak Bin Falah, CEO of Canadian Medical Centre (CMC) Group, for providing me with this opportunity to serve, and to the management for nominating me. I am also grateful to the UAE for the life it has given me, allowing me to work here and consider this country my second home. I am committed to continuing my work for as long as I am permitted. I have no intentions of quitting my job," Pameela expressed with gratitude.

Her journey from uncertainty in her home country to being celebrated as a pinnacle of excellence in the heart of Abu Dhabi has left Pameela reflecting on the twists and turns that brought her to this extraordinary moment.

Thirteen years ago, her world was shrouded with challenges, and her family was grappling with financial difficulties. She could not make ends meet with Dh20 as an Ayurvedic massage centre helper. Only then did she make the life-altering decision to travel to the UAE to improve their circumstances. Elder brother Prasad Krishna brought her to Abu Dhabi, and she started working in CMC.

Diligently, she toiled six days a week, clocking in from 8 am to 4 pm. Through her hard work, she successfully educated her two children and started construction of a house back in Kerala.

Pameela's husband, Vijay Kumar, passed away seven years ago, leaving her as the sole breadwinner for the family. Undeterred, she dedicated herself to ensuring her children completed their education.

Her son, Vishnu Prasad (26), has completed his graduation and currently serves as an accountant in an old-age home. Meanwhile, her daughter, Gayatri Rajesh (27), has finished her post-graduation and is now happily married.

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