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As Funds Deplete, Anxiety Looms for Indians Stranded in Sri Lanka

There is no confirmation on the return date yet.

Updated
My Report
3 min read

Video Editor: Prashant Chauhan
Producer:
Aastha Gulati

Over 2,000 of us Indian citizens are stranded in Sri Lanka since 20 March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Some of us are tourists and some stay here for work. Now there is no option but to stay in hotels and guesthouses till the crisis abates. The worst is that we still don’t have a concrete date of return and we are afraid it will push further now that India has extended the lockdown till 3 May.

Roads left deserted in Kandy. 
Roads left deserted in Kandy. 
(Photo: The Quint)

Due to this uncertainty, we have little faith and patience left. There are several mental challenges as well because we are away from our families in this tough period.

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

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We are mostly spread across Colombo and Kandy with a few in other locations. These areas are under complete curfew since 20 March.

While the government has started some home-delivery services, it is not available in all areas. Now we are at the mercy of some local vendors, who come occasionally to sell some vegetables, fruits and bread.

People are running out of funds, making it tough to sustain here. Sometimes we have to ask neighbours for food.

Hotels are shutting down so people are being asked to change hotels, this is against social isolation directions.

Shops shuttered in Kandy.
Shops shuttered in Kandy.
(Photo: The Quint)

Our financial and mental state is becoming weaker by the day. The Indian High Commission has been in touch and they have been helpful to arrange a hotel in Colombo at a cost of USD 30 per day with food but most of us are already living at a lower price accommodation because there is fear of not being able to settle our dues when we leave.

We appeal to the government of India to consider evacuation based on three reasons. It is first, the closest destination for evacuation. Secondly, the least amount of COVID-19 cases are in Sri Lanka. Lastly, all tourists have positively completed 14 days quarantine period and are not showing symptoms.

We want the Indian government to tell us when we can return home so that we are at ease mentally and so are our families.

(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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