Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Kannada organisations in Middle East supplement flights

Mangaluru: With the ministries of external affairs and civil aviation prioritising Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) flights, individuals and companies have taken the lead to repatriate Indians stranded in different parts of the world, including the Middle East, through chartered flights. Latest in this ongoing endeavour was the Qatar-Bengaluru flight flown by Karnataka Sangha Qatar (KSQ) in association with other Karnataka-related organisations in Qatar.
With guidance and cooperation from Indian Community Benevolent Forum (ICBF) under the aegis of Indian Embassy in Qatar, the chartered flight that landed on Monday had 180 passengers, including six infants. The second batch to have returned to Karnataka in a month had those who, among other issues, had to be evacuated due to lack of jobs, medical issues, low-living standards and temporary visas.
It was Subramanya Hebbagelu of ICBF and their team, who in coordination with local elected representatives like Mangaluru MLA U T Khader, senior bureaucrat Ravi Kumar, additional chief secretary to the chief minister, made the repatriation flights possible. In an email, Subramanya said: “We were able to send back these people, including those from Dakshina Kannada, to Bengaluru due to some concerted efforts.”

D V Sadananda Gowda, Union minister in charge of VBM flights for Karnataka, told TOI that Air India Express (AIE) and Air India (AI) have announced a detailed list of such flights that connect Mangaluru through various cities like Bengaluru, Chennai and Kozhikode. Not discounting the efforts that organisations such as KSQ, ICBF and individual businessmen have taken to arrange the chartered flights, Gowda said it is all about due diligence for the government.

“We have people wanting to come to India for various reasons,” he said, adding it takes time to work out the logistics.
17/06/20 Jaideep Shenoy/Times of India
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