I'm attempting to make an emergency appeal for my two friends Aslam and Hema who have been part of our community here on Lipe for the last 3 years. "Go fund me" is not available in Thailand for some reason so this is my next best option.
Aslam, an Indian national and Hema his Thai wife, moved here to set up an Indian restaurant three years ago. They struggled very much in the beginning to establish their business but always smiled as they faced every adversity with a positive attitude as they persevered in following their dream.
Having had a run of exceedingly bad luck, serious health issues for Hema resulting in an operation. Land lease agreements reneged on resulting in them having to relocate their restaurant for the 3rd time in one year. Despite working the entire day in his restaurant and every evening working on building the new one and with very few customers in the low season, they suffered severe crushing financial pressure. So much so that Aslam could not afford to do his last visa run as he simply didn't have the finances to buy the airline ticket to India to do it.
While Hema was recovering in the hospital from her major surgery, the immigration came to check his papers. They saw that he had a 2 week overstay in passport and immediately took him while he was in the process completing the final building work making it ready to move into the day after. He was not allowed to contact anyone or even take his shoes which were left outside the restaurant. He's was then taken to court on the mainland and is now set for deportation on Monday. He is also banned from reentering Thailand for the next 5 years despite being married to a Thai national.
I spoke to them both this morning. They are both obviously completely heartbroken and utterly, utterly devastated. They have literally lost everything. Their business, their home, all of his possessions, bar the clothes on his back and now eachother as he is being sent back and barred form reentering. I went by their old restaurant to try and salvage some of their things but everything has been taken already.
They have literally nothing left.
If there is anyone who reads this message and who had the pleasure of meeting this lovely kind hearted, gentle couple or had the opportunity to eat in their restaurant, if you would like to make a donation then please let me know. I have organised some people to take the donation money to Pak Bara to Hema on the 17th. She can then send him some money to at least buy some shoes and a bus ticket to the city when he lands. I'm donating 5,000baht, which is not very much by itself but if anyone can donate even a small amount then hopefully we can make this number grow even a little bit. please share this post with anyone on Lipe that you know.
Thank you all for reading this and your support for Aslam and Hema
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