As the COVID-19 situation is worsening across the globe, stranded Indian students in the United Kingdom are finding it hard to survive amid the crisis.
By Nihan Parveen
Bengaluru: With the imposition of a 21-day lockdown in India, till April 14, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and amidst the growing number of coronavirus positive cases in the United Kingdom, Indian students are stuck in U.K. , unable to travel back home. Many among them are now facing financial problems.
Saket Burman, a student at University of Hertfordshire said, “I am a postgraduate student and to cope with my expenses, I was working in part-time jobs. But I lost my job because of the COVID-19 outbreak and also ran out of stock of essential commodities. Markets too, are short of essential items due to the panic buying done by customers. I no longer feel safe in here. I would request the authorities to take us back to those we love.”
No work means:- no food, no home.— Rohit Malik (@RohitMalik00000) March 26, 2020
We are alone here, we worried about families and families worried about us. Most importantly we are around 400 to 500 students on the same page. We are afraid of the situation now.
As the pandemic is widening its hold with each passing day, parents of students studying in the UK are beginning to panic, seeking to get their children home, before the situation goes out-of-hand.
Ashith Burman, Saket’s father said, “My son is stranded in that country and is unable to come home. He’s running short of food and money. Even we can’t give him money because of the lockdown restrictions here as well. It would have been very helpful for us if any arrangements would’ve been made to get these children back home.”
The travel advisories issued on March 17 confirmed that no scheduled international commercial passenger aircraft will take off from any foreign airport to India.
Rajan Joshi, an official of Ministry of External Affairs said, “Until the crisis escalated, we had already evacuated a lot of students from across the country. But, now it’s hard to say anything because of the lockdown and the deteriorating situation. However, we are trying to airlift the students for free.”
The pandemic has so far infected more than a million people worldwide and has resulted in more than 1,14,293 deaths.
Picture source- KPN News