Luis Fernandes, who last saw his son Melwin more than a decade ago, can now call an end to his wait. Melwin’s mortal remains reached Mumbai from the US on Saturday, after facing a slew of legal procedures, clearances and financial hurdles. More importantly, Melwin returned to his father’s arms, thanks to the 433 donors who contributed over $30,000 towards it.
The body of Melwin Fernandes, who committed suicide in the US earlier this month, with his father Luis
and sister. Pic/Ashish Rane
Melwin, a resident of Worli, shifted to Miami in 2005 to work in the hospitality sector. With surmounting loans that needed to be paid, Melwin committed suicide on August 14. Rakesh Shetty, Melwin’s friend and colleague in Miami, started an online petition, appealing for contributions to help the family see their deceased son.
Mid-day reported on August 20 about an effort by 433 strangers from all over the world contributing $30,036 for the cause. While the target amount necessary for custom clearances and transportation was collected within 24 hours, the surplus will be given to the grieving family since Melwin was the sole earning member. "We brought Melwin’s remains to Pierce Funeral Home in the US. We also arranged for a viewing day on August 21, from 10 am to 1 pm," said Shetty.
While Melwin’s body landed at around 7.30 am at Mumbai International Airport, relatives followed up with authorities and received the remains at 7 pm. "The procedure and cargo clearance took over 11 hours. After completing the formalities, we ferried the remains to our Andheri residence, where Melwin’s friends and family can now visit him for one last time," said Rohan, his cousin.
The funeral will be held today at Holy Family Church, Andheri East, in the afternoon.