Indian evacuees from Yemen land in Kochi

Like their nursing counterparts forced to return from Iraq and Libya before them, a grim future is what stares at them.  

Updated - November 28, 2021 07:39 am IST

Published - April 02, 2015 05:05 am IST - KOCHI:

Indians evacuated from Yemen on board the INS Sumitra.

Indians evacuated from Yemen on board the INS Sumitra.

A plane carrying 168 Indian nationals evacuated from Yemen landed in Kochi in the government’s first major mission to rescue Indians stranded in the strife-torn nation. They were flown in by a special Indian Air Force aircraft at 1:40 a.m. after almost a four-hour long flight from Djibouti.

A group of 40 evacuees from Tamil Nadu continued their onward journey with the assistance of the Kerala government.

“The country is in absolute chaos now. Gunshots and bombings have become the hallmark of the city of Aden even during the daytime. Forget about going to work, people can hardly go out. Stores have been hit affecting essential supplies,” said Manju, a native of Pathanamthitta, who despite the entire trauma was hopeful of a return once the situation improves in the Southwest Asian country.

Notwithstanding the looming danger, many like her think of a probable return. The likes of Anju Joseph of Kottayam who had raised a few couple of lakhs after much hardship for her foreign job had far too short a stint at a hospital at Yemen to recover it. 

“More than 300 Keralites at TMC hospital alone have chosen to stay back even as Filipinos and Sudanese are returning at the first given chance. Burden of debts is what forces them to endanger their lives,” she says.

Spartan, a resident of Fort Kochi had been in Yemen for six years before he chose to return following an uprising of sorts in 2011. He made a return last year after three years only to come back in less than a year.

Deafening sounds of bombs is something they have become accustomed in their last few days of stay. “I was about to return as the clashes intensified but was unable to get out of the hospital building,’’ said Sheena Varghese, a nurse from Kannur, adding that she was not given her full pay before leaving the country.

Like their nursing counterparts forced to return from the strife-torn Iraq and Libya before them, a grim future is what stares at them.  

They hope that a previous assurance from Chief Minister Oommen Chandy about the State government’s commitment to rehabilitate evacuated nurses come good.

Ministers K.C. Joseph and K. Babu who were present at the airport to receive them said that the government will do everything possible to help them piece together their lives. An immediate aid of Rs. 2,000 was paid to the returnees by Norka District Collector M.G. Rajamanikyam. Additional District Magistrate B. Ramachandran were among others present at the airport.

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