Tamil Nadu

Fishermen stranded in Iran look to head back home

It has been 18 months since Kanniyakumari-native Maria Gildas left home for work in Iran. He has been stuck there since, waiting for a seat on a return flight.

A total of 65 fishermen, including 40 from Tamil Nadu, 19 from Kerala and one from Puducherry, are holed up in a room in Iran, waiting for help from the Central and State governments.

“A ship brought many home... He did not get a seat on it. We don’t have money for a ticket. The last time too, when he tried coming home before the COVID-19 outbreak, he did not have money for a ticket and had to work for two months to earn the money. They now have found a sponsor for the tickets,” said Jeeva, wife of Mr. Gildas.

Ms. Jeeva has now pinned her hopes on the kindness and compassion of Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami.

“He has been kind enough to bring back many fishermen. He has written to the Union government asking them to expedite the return of those stranded in Iran,” she said.

Mr. Gildas said that they were waiting for details about a flight to Delhi on July 16.

The struggle

“We struggled for a seat on that ship. It had a capacity of only 700 persons, so we were left behind. People here are from several districts, including Nagapattinam and Cuddalore,” said Mr. Gildas, the captain of a boat, speaking over the phone to The Hindu.

“We are not bothered about eating or sleeping. We just want to return home,” he said.

Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar said that steps were being taken to bring back the men.

“They will be brought back at the earliest,” he said.

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Aug 8, 2020 8:42:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/fishermen-stranded-in-iran-look-to-head-back-home/article32060822.ece

Next Story