Kannadigas Stranded in UK Send SOS For More Vande Bharat Flights

The group consisting of students and professionals say that only 323 residents have been evacuated so far. 

2 min read
As the government of India sends Air India flights to the United Kingdom as part of its Vande Bharat Mission to repatriate Indian citizens stuck abroad, a majority of people still do not feature in the shortlist of passengers.

A group of residents of Karnataka stranded in the United Kingdom are appealing to the central and state governments to arrange for a second evacuation flight from the island nation under the Vande Bharat mission.

The only flight from the UK to Bengaluru took off on 10 May during the first phase of Vande Bharat Mission. In the second phase, up to 17 June, there are no flights scheduled for the southern state.

The group consisting of students and professionals say that only 323 residents have been evacuated so far and hundreds more are still stranded in the UK.

“Across the UK, two hundred plus of Karnataka residents are actively comforting, advising to each other through one messenger platform - Telegram. They are either on a short-term work visa, family visa, student visa or tourist visa with a planned deputation, self-funding, or on education loan,” read a statement sent by a collective of Kannadigas stranded in the UK.

The group has also sent an email to the Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa, which read: “Most of the Indian citizens, including graduates, have either been laid-off, given leave without pay, or their universities/accommodation has closed, leaving them stranded. Students who were depending on their part-time jobs as a source of income have lost these jobs, leaving them with very little money for daily needs.”

The letter also added that Many students repaying the loan are unable to do so now as well as meet living expenses. Some citizens either have elderly parents living alone in India or have medical emergencies.

They are waiting to hear from the High Commission of India, but have not had any luck so far.

“Many short-term visitors or tourists have visas that are expiring. They only had the financial means to stay in the country for a short period of time, and are struggling with expenses related to the high cost of living as well as the stress of visa renewal processes,” read the letter.

Officials in the Karnataka government said that the decision to run flights to bring back Indian national from abroad is taken by the Ministry of External Affairs. 

The officer added that so far they don’t have any information regarding a second flight to Bengaluru from London

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