Thafleel Uppinangadi

BANGALORE: A group of 40 young people from Manipur, who had come to Karnataka to participate in a youth cultural exchange programme, have been forced to overstay here.

The 40-member team, including 20 women, is stranded in the city after the cancellation of trains to Kolkata due to floods in the region.

The team had come to Udupi on June 11 to participate in the exchange programme held from June 11 to 18.

“Last night we had a banana and bread. Today, we had no breakfast. We do not know what will happen next. We enjoyed the programme, but we were not prepared to starve and are feeling homesick,” said B.K. Toto, a member of the team.

The team members, who performed six cultural programmes at the event in Udupi, said that their plight was not much different from that of beggars.

Shanthkumar, district youth coordinator, Mangalore, had made arrangements for the team to stay at the Centre for Youth and Cultural Development (CYCD), in Bangalore.

“We are waiting for Mr. Shanthkumar and our team leader Guna Charan Singh to give us some good news,” said Premjith, another member of the team. But till late Saturday evening, they were still stranded here.

A.K. Monika was inconsolable on learning about the further delay in their departure.

Mr. Shanthkumar said it had been planned to send the team to Chennai so that they could catch the Chennai-Howrah train. But that train was also cancelled.

“The team will stay at CYCD for three more days, as no train has been scheduled to leave for Kolkata till Wednesday. We are trying to contact the head office in New Delhi to get financial assistance for their stay,” he added.