Coronavirus Lockdown: Indians Stranded in UK Wish to Return Home

“Being away from family amid a pandemic is mentally challenging for us.”

Published
My Report
4 min read

Video Editor: Kunal Mehra
Video Producers: Zijah Sherwani & Arshi Qureshi

Outbreak of the novel coronavirus has infected more than 1 million people globally and as of Thursday, 2 April, led to over 51,000 deaths. Due to closure of international borders, several are unable to return home. Indians stranded in COVID-hit UK reached out to My Report expressing the problems they are facing amid the lockdown.

With a lockdown in India till 14 April and a growing number of cases in the United Kingdom, these Indians face a big dilemma.

(Click here for live updates on COVID-19. Also visit Quint Fit for comprehensive coverage on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.)

‘Buying Basic Necessities Tough’

My name is Swarlipi Nagora and currently, I am in Manchester, UK. I am writing this on behalf of more than 200 Indian students stranded in the UK due to new travel restrictions imposed by the Indian government.

I would like to urge the Government of India to bring all Indian students home. All of us are facing different problems.

Coronavirus Lockdown: Indians Stranded in UK Wish to Return Home
(Photo Courtesy: The Quint/Arnica Kala)
We students are away from family and it has been mentally challenging for us to tackle the situation.

Our parents are worried too and want us to come back home. Due to the increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the UK, we all are at high risk.

We hope to be reunited with our family soon.

‘My Parents Stranded in London Since 10 Days’

My name is Manali Shanbhag, I am the daughter of Ganapathy Shanbhag and Jayashree Shanbhag, who are currently among the eight Indian nationals stranded in London as their flight to India got cancelled.

Coronavirus Lockdown: Indians Stranded in UK Wish to Return Home
(Photo Courtesy: The Quint/Arnica Kala)

They spent 12 to 14 harrowing hours at Heathrow Airport in the hope of boarding a flight to India. Later, they were put up in hotel for a week. Three days ago, they were moved to another hotel, as the current one was closing due to the lockdown.

HCI, the embassy and few student groups have been blessings, directing me towards resources. However, all these prove to be short-term solutions.

It is especially challenging for this group of eight individuals that includes a young couple, parents to a 2-year-old and a 6-month-old infant. They are in uncharted waters and are facing a language barrier as well. Everyone is advised to stay home and stay safe but these people, displaced from their home, are having to walk till nearby stores to stock up on baby supplies.

Funds are dwindling as well. It is my humble request to consider a rescue or evacuation flight, or at least some indication of resumption of international flights after 14 April.

Help us before it culminates into some medical emergency for the elderly or the baby.

‘I Want to Be With Family’

My name is Aaryan and I am enrolled in a student exchange program at Liverpool Hope University in the UK.

The programme was supposed to last for a few weeks but because of the coronavirus outbreak, the classes have been called off and are being conducted online. There is no point for me to stay here now since my studies have to continue back in my Indian college once things fall in place. There is another Indian classmate of mine here and everyone else has left the hostel accommodation. The number of cases are increasing every day here and it is terrifying and stressful.

Coronavirus Lockdown: Indians Stranded in UK Wish to Return Home
(Photo Courtesy: The Quint/Arnica Kala)

My parents are really worried and I also want to be with them during this tough time. I request you to please send a plane and evacuate students, the aged and the kids stranded here.

‘Running Out of Money and Food’

My name is Khushbeen and I am a student at Middlesex University London. Our universities are shut now and all my other friends have gone back to their home countries.

It is really difficult to live alone in such difficult times as cases are increasing to double every day and I am all alone self-isolating as it's very risky to go outside of the house.

My parents are really worried and so am I, for their health.

Coronavirus Lockdown: Indians Stranded in UK Wish to Return Home
(Photo Courtesy: The Quint/Arnica Kala)

It would be better if we are with our loved ones as future is uncertain and we are not feeling safe alone.

Please help us go back to our homes.

(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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