Saturday, June 27, 2020

Three months of wait over, students from Singapore finally return home

Kolkata: The first repatriation flight from Singapore reached the city on Friday evening, carrying on board students who had been stranded in the city state under lockdown for over three months. Most of their friends and classmates from other parts of India had returned in Vande Bharat flights over a month ago with Air India operating the first flight from Singapore to Delhi on May 8.
“After months of anxiety, it finally feels great to be back. I am relieved for my parents. My mother broke down several times during this period. I, too, had moments of doubt and weakness when the situation seemed damning and I just wanted to return home and be with my family. But I kept myself busy with online studies,” said Riddhimaa Gupta, a third-year student of economics honours at National University of Singapore.

Riddhimaa’s on-site classes had concluded in April. But the lockdown prevented her from flying back. She saw many of her friends, who hailed from other Indian cities, fly back. Also, with Singapore prohibiting social visits, she couldn’t meet up with even fellow classmates and friends from Kolkata. “It was a long month without meeting any friend or family member, with no certainty as to when I could return home,” she said.

Some of her friends in other colleges have been undergoing anxiety bouts and mood swings, while others have been suffering from loss of appetite and insomnia, all classical symptoms of depression. Pulkit Agarwal, who is a second-year student bachelor of accountancy at Singapore Management University, said the wait since mid-March, when the institute shut down, was frustrating.
27/06/20 Times of India
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