Published: 23rd July 2019
Want my pappa back: Why this 9-year-old's video about her stranded dad is going viral
Aysha Zaha's father Moosakunhi Parakkatta is a seafarer in commercial ship SG Pegasus. He, along with 59 other Indians, are stuck in different ships in Indonesia
My pappa, Moosakunhi, ship name SG Pegasus, (has been) arrested in Indonesia. I love my pappa. Dear Prime Minister, please give my Pappa back, says a little girl in a poignant 14-second-long video. Dressed in a blue T-shirt and clad in a black hijab, holding a placard that says 'I want my Pappa back', she is Aysha Zaha, a fourth-grader from Sri Sharada Bovis Aup Aila School, Kasaragod. Aysha's father Moosakunhi Parakkatta is a seafarer in SG Pegasus, which is among the three commercial ships detained by the Indonesian Navy, for the past five months.
It has been 10 months since the nine-year-old has seen her father. Every year he spent three months with her, her mother and her two brothers. But not this year. She doesn't understand the legalities and procedures that are required to bring her pappa back, but she misses him so much. So she decided to do her bit. "It was my idea to shoot a video," she says. "I told my mother that they may send Pappa back soon if children ask them," she says. Her mother was instantly on board.
Free them: Moosakunhi (second from right) with his colleagues
That evening, Aysha's elder brother shot the video on his phone and sent it to their father. Moosakunhi, who has internet access in the ship, tweeted the video on July 22, tagging quite a few people, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. "My daughter pleads for her father. Dear PM Sir, please help me reunite with my daughter," he wrote.
Watch the video here: https://twitter.com/MoosakunhiP/status/1153134790268207104
Aysha is Moosakunhi's youngest child. When was the last time she spoke to him? She says, "Papa called us yesterday. I told him to come back soon. I miss him a lot." However, the seafarers are still unsure about when they will be back home. The Indonesian Navy has filed a case against the ship, but its hearing which was supposed to be held on July 15, is now postponed.
Moosakunhi, who is among the 60 Indian seafarers stuck on various ships, was on a nine-month contract, which has now expired. However, he is quite hopeful about going home soon and meeting his family. "My children, don't lose hope, be strong, and be with your mom. Please take care of her. I love you all," he tells his family through a WhatsApp voice note. "Aysha, my sweetheart, I know how much you love chocolates. I won't forget to bring your favourite Toblerones," he tells his little one.