Dubai: A 12-member Sri Lankan family is struggling to find shelter in Dubai after the family's only breadwinner is without a job due to the pandemic.
The couple, along with their 10 children, came to the UAE in September 2019, hoping to start a new life, Khaleej Times reported.
The 12-member family, comprising 52-year-old Imamudeen Meera Lebbe, his 45-year-old wife Sithy Fazila and 10 children between the age of six and 20, claim they are facing eviction as they have not been able to pay their rent for the last two months.
"Everybody is turning us away because of the large size of my family," Mr Lebbe told the Khaleej Times.
"I found this small accommodation with a lot of difficulty. I owe Dh6,000 as two months of rent. The landlord asked me to leave the accommodation in case I am not able pay the rent within two days."
The family who lives in a shared villa on the Dubai-Sharjah border, was visited by Khaleej Times who found them cooped up in a two-room accommodation completely devoid of furniture.
Mr Lebbe, who worked as a bus driver in Sri Lanka, sold all his belongings to relocate to the UAE with his family.
"I have been living in rented homes all my life and was able to find accommodation with ease until I had my sixth child," he said.
"Everywhere I went, people poked fun at me and many were downright angry that I had fathered 10 children."
Determined to provide for his wife and kids, Mr Lebbe decided to move to the UAE.
"Almighty Allah gave me these wonderful children and I am willing to work hard to feed and take care of them. I hope people in the UAE will be sympathetic towards my plight."
He added that all he needs is a roof over their heads and a stable job so that he can provide for his family.
The family is currently surviving on handouts and rice packets donated by charitable organisations.