KUALA LUMPUR - For 19 years Nadeera Mohamedali Abdullah suffered alone in Kerala, abandoned by her husband and raising their five children alone.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of her sister-in-law, however, she and the children are now safely back in Malaysia.
The Indian citizen married a Malaysian from Jelebu in Negri Sembilan and four of their children were born Malaysia.
In 1993, the family went to visit Nadeera's family in Kerala, where the fifth child was born.
Her husband, Mohd Ali Maniam Abdullah then left for home, though he continued to support them for a year. Soon, the support stopped and they never saw him again.
Three years ago, Ali's sister, Rukkiya Ibrahim, visited the family in Kerala and was shocked at what she saw.
"I decided to visit my brother's family in Kerala on a holiday there and later learnt that they were going through so much of hardship to make ends meet.
"What is even more shocking was to learn that Nadeera and the second daughter, Nabish Bismeera are suffering from undiagnosed mental illness," said Rukkiya.
Ali's oldest son, Mohammad Yusof Al-Safeer, 25, was the only breadwinner of the family, earning RM10 a day from odd jobs to care for his family since he was 10.
Moved by what she saw, Rukkiya began looking for ways to bring her sister-in-law and her children back to Malaysia.
In December, 2009, she approached the Umno Youth complaints bureau for help.
Bureau chairman Datuk Muhd Khairun Aseh said Rukkiyah had pleaded with them to bring Nadeera and the children home.
Khairun said the bureau had failed to bring the family home twice - in July and December last year - due to immigration issues and documentation problems.
"It brought about a sense of relief and happiness to receive them at the Kuala Lumpur International Aisport this morning (yesterday)."
He added that the bureau would prepare and sponsor the family for a medical check-up and seek the help of the Welfare Department to aid them financially.
"We will also look and source for vocational training for the children who did not acquire any basic education."
Only the younger children - Nabish Rahimmeera Al-Jafeer and Abdul Manaf Al Safeer - had ever received basic Islamic education.