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Home » UAE-India repatriation Day 3 Blog: Flight to Lucknow ready to take off from Sharjah – News

UAE-India repatriation Day 3 Blog: Flight to Lucknow ready to take off from Sharjah – News

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Khaleej Times journalists track the historic Vande Bharat Mission.

As part of the Vande Bharat Mission, an Air India flight with around 200 Indians from Sharjah will take off for Lucknow today. Stranded workers, pregnant women and many others who are waiting to go home are getting the formalities completed at the Sharjah airport to board the flight to Lucknow.

On Friday, 200 Indian workers who had lost their jobs and were in dire straits, flew home to Chennai. Air India Express flights repatriated over 360 distressed Indians on the second day of what is being called the largest repatriation effort in modern history. A total of 37 pregnant women and 42 medically ailing passengers were on the flight, according to the Consulate General of India in Dubai.

The Indian government on Monday had announced plans to begin phased repatriation of its citizens stranded abroad from May 7.

Khaleej Times journalists track the historic Vande Bharat Mission:


Crew of the Air India flight from Sharjah to Lucknow give a thumbs up as the Indians who are repatriating starts boarding .


Indian Passengers boarding from Sharjah to Lucknow


Distressed workers, pregnant women and many others who are waiting to go home are getting the formalities completed at the Sharjah airport to board the flight to Lucknow.



Consul General Vipul listening to the woes of one of the distressed workers who did not have a job and was finding it difficult to sustain is relieved to be going back home. Today 180 Indians are travelling back to Lucknow from Sharjah.




Sharad Avasthi, 66, and his wife Shikha, 62, are heaving a sigh of relief as they go back to their hometown Lucknow. While the couple had been touring the Gulf since January 15, their plans went haywire due to the disruptions caused by Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking to Khaleej Times at the Sharjah International Airport, Avasthi says: “We have been out since January 15. We went to Oman and other places nearby but when we came here, we were forced to stay put – luckily at our daughter’s place. We were due to leave in the beginning of April but that didn’t happen due to flight suspensions. We both have age-related ailments. We ran out of our stock of medicines around one-and-a-half months back. Our visas have also expired. We got in touch with the embassy and explained our situation to them. We thank both governments that these flights have been organised. It brings people like us the much-needed relief. “


Priyanka Jaiswal is optimistic that she will return to the UAE. Hailing from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, the 26-year-old woman had barely worked for 10 months at a beach resort in RAK when she had to leave.

Although she is forced to go back without a job, Priyanka says: “I hope whenever things improve after Covid-19 crisis, I can come back again. I love the UAE. It’s so safe and feels like home. I am heartbroken to leave now, but I am looking forward to return once my former employees resume their business. The hotel industry has been impacted badly. But I am most certain they will contact me when the situation improves.”



Indian mission in UAE appreciates frontline workers from Sharjah Airport Medical and Sharjah Health Authorities for the great service to Indian nationals.


Shehzab Khan has been through very hard times in the last few months. The man in his late 20s, along with his parents, came from Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh to UAE to visit his sister. Little did they realise the lockdown in India would leave them stranded here. But matters got worse when his 55-year-old father, who suffers from hypertension, fell severely ill.

Shehzab says: “His BP shot up to 230 suddenly. It went up so high that he had to be admitted to the ICU in Medeor Hospital. A string of treatments followed and mounting costs ensued. We were here on a visit and have no insurance. My father still needs further treatment. We are so glad that the repatriation flights have started; we had been eagerly waiting for it.”



Sunil Kushvaha, a carpenter, arrived here looking for a job. He says he paid Rs55,000 to an agent to get in the UAE – a place where he always wanted to be. But all his hopes have been dashed and the money gone down the drain.

He says: “I landed here in December. Initially, I was hopeful that I will find a job. But then Covid-19 pandemic happened and everything went for a toss. It’s been five months now that I have been jobless. I have a wife, three children and old parents to support back home. I have been surviving with the assistance of my friends and some charity groups. I barely have money now. I don’t know what will I do once I get back to my village near Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh.”


Passengers undergoing medical screening at the check-in area of Sharjah airport.


Shiv Pandey is accompanying his 3-month pregnant wife Ria, and his two other children, who are headed to Lucknow this afternoon in the repatriation flight from Sharjah.

Shiv says: “I will pray that we all continue to be fine. My family was visiting me here, but now their visas have expired. My wife certainly needs to travel back now as travelling later for her may become more difficult. I am thankful to the UAE government and the government of India for organising these special flights as many like my family who have similar issues, are looking forward to getting back home at the earliest.”


Vandana Cecil is desperate to get back to her hometown Lucknow now. Her mother is a fourth stage cancer patient and she is counting hours before she can be with her mother, once the 14-day quarantine period is over.

She says, “I am counting hours, in fact, minutes, before I can see her. She is critical and on the ventilator now. I was visiting a relative in the UAE and little did I know that I will get stuck here”


Sunil Kumar had come to the UAE in December 2019 to look for a job. He is leaving for Lucknow as he has run out of money.


Sandeep Singh, along with his wife and 18-month-old son, is forced to leave the UAE for good. Sandeep, a resident of Sharjah Industrial Area II, used to work as a software engineer. But due to the unfortunate turn of events triggered by Covid-19 crisis, he had to wind up everything.

He says: “It was getting difficult to sustain my family without a job. We are facing severe financial crisis. I also have ailing parents back home and we better go back to Gorakhpur from Lucknow and take care of them and look for a job in India. When the situation improves, I’ll try coming back to the UAE.”


10: 20am

10: 15am

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