Rajesh Gowda (26), an engineer who was stranded in strife-torn Sana’a in Yemen, was given an emotional welcome at the Mangaluru Central Railway Station on Saturday.
Last of the five children of Channappa Gowda, a farmer at Kodimbala near Kadaba in Puttur taluk, Mr. Rajesh reached here via Kochi in Kerala.
Mr. Channappa broke down as he hugged his son and said, “God has sent him back. I thank him.”
He said the previous week had been very stressful for the family.
Mr. Rajesh, who appreciated the government’s efforts in helping Indians return home, said he and many others were first flown to Djibouti on Friday morning.
From there, they arrived in two flights, one of which reached Kochi at 12.30 a.m. on Saturday after a five-hour journey.
From Kochi, he travelled in the Trivandurm-Mangaluru Central Express Train and reached here at 11.45 a.m.
He said the Indian Embassy called him up at 3 a.m. on Friday and asked him to reach the airport by 9 a.m. with just a handbag.
At the airport, each of the 2,000 persons gathered were given a number and only those whose numbers were called out were allowed to board the aircraft.
Mr. Rajesh said he never thought he would make it to India considering the situation in Sana’a.
“I will never go back to Yemen,” he said, amid a sigh of relief.
The engineer had returned to Yemen only on March 19 after a month-long holiday. But by the time he landed there, tension was mounting in Sana’a. Mr. Rajesh said the situation was worsening by the day.
Initially, blasts and airstrikes were heard only at night, but later it had become common even during the day. One blast occurred only about 500-m away from his apartment, because of which a window pane had shattered, he said.