Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Pregnant woman, who moved India’s apex court to fly home, among first to be repatriated

Dubai: Athira Geetha Sreedharan, 27, from Kerala, who had filed a petition in India’s Supreme Court seeking help to return home for her delivery, is among the first batch of Indians to be repatriated to India on Thursday.
Sreedharan, who is expected her first baby in the first week of July, wanted to reach home before the second week of May.

She and her husband Nithin Chandran, a Dubai-based engineer, were finally relieved when she was short-listed and managed to get a ticket for the Air India Express Dubai-Kozhikode flight on Thursday.

“It is definitely the flight of my life,” Sreedharan told Gulf News on Wednesday.
“I had thought this won’t happen. It is unbelievable that finally it is coming true. I am very happy and thankful to everyone who supported me.”
Sreedharan said she had been taking all precautionary measures and both she and her husband underwent COVID-19 tests.

Though he is not accompanying his wife, Chandran said they are thankful to the government for beginning the repatriation.

He said the youth wing of UAE-based expat organisation Incas which supported them to file the petition, sponsored Sreedharan’s ticket as a token of appreciation for taking up the cause of many women like her.

“We didn’t want financial support for the ticket. But when they offered it as a gift for her, I felt morally responsible to offer free tickets to at least two others who are really in need. I will be doing that,” said Chandran.
Ambily Babu, 27, is another pregnant woman who will be flying on the first flight that departs from Abu Dhabi to Kochi.

A school teacher in Abu Dhabi, Babu said she had mixed emotions after her ticket was purchased.

“Finally, I am going to fly. I am happy but at the same time, I am a bit nervous about flying. This is the first flight during the lockdown and there are concerns about how safe it is to fly. But I am trying to stay optimistic and looking forward to joining my family soon.”
06/05/20 Sajila Saseendran/Gulf News
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