Monday, August 24, 2020

Gulf spl flights bring back unemployed professionals

Kolkata: The city airport hosted three international charter flights between Saturday night and Sunday afternoon — the highest in terms of frequency in the last 53 days — with repatriates coming back home from three Gulf nations, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and Qatar.

While flight G8 6269 from Abu Dhabi with 174 passengers on board reached the airport around 9.40pm on Saturday, the 10.30pm flight G8 7444 from Kuwait had 180 flyers. Both the flights were operated by Go Air. On Sunday afternoon, an Oman Air repatriation flight from Qatar with 154 passengers reached the airport at 3.40pm. A majority of passengers in all three flights were jobless professionals and labourers, who shared horrific tales of struggle and hunger to TOI as they reached the city. All of them had Covid-negative certificates and were allowed to go home and stay in quarantine.
“With hopes of making a fortune out of my expertise in embroidery work, I had gone to Abu Dhabi on December 2019 like many of my neighbours from Howrah. But such had been my luck that within three-four months, I was jobless as the city came under lockdown. A colleague allowed me to stay at his apartment but since March, there have been several days when I had slept only drinking water and nothing else. There is no job for us any more. I am thankful to the company that they at least got me a ticket back home. I am not going back to any foreign nation ever,” said Rafikul Hasan Khan, a resident of Amta in Howrah who returned from Abu Dhabi.
Dum Dum Cantonment resident Mitisha Mondal, who used to work at a resort in Kuwait, said she lost her job five days after the lockdown started in the country. “I had no clue where to go and live. There was no way I could even come back home. The horror of uncertainty without work and without means to return home while stuck at a foreign nation had sent me into depression. Thankfully, my employers arranged my ticket back home,” said Mondal.
24/08/20 Tamaghna Banerjee/Times of India
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