Unable to fly back, NRIs stranded in Mangaluru worry about losing jobs | Mangaluru News – Times of India


Several NRIs arrived in India for a visit before Covid-19 cases surged and several countries suspended flights

MANGALURU: Many NRIs who arrived in India for a visit before Covid-19 cases surged this year are waiting for flights to resume, so they can travel back and rejoin their workplaces. They are worried that prolonged absence will affect their employment record and may even cost them their position.
Jeevan P D’Souza, employed in Kuwait, came to Mangaluru, his hometown, in March this year to see his wife and newborn child. Weeks later, flights to Kuwait and other countries were suspended as the second wave of coronavirus gripped Karnataka and the rest of India.
“By the time I wanted to return to Kuwait via Dubai, flights were suspended. There is a possibility that they will resume in August. The company I work for has already deputed another person to my post because of my absence. If there’s a further delay, my job will be at stake,” said Jeevan, who has been working at a logistics company in Kuwait for the past 13 years.
Like Jeevan, hundreds of NRIs are stranded. Many countries are granting entry to only those who are inoculated against Covid-19.
Couple Lavanya and Akash, who have jobs in Canada, have been stuck in Mangaluru for two months. Canada halted flights from India just a day before they had planned to return. “Our flight was scheduled on April 23 and Canada suspended all commercial and private passenger flights on April 22. We are waiting for flights to begin,” the couple told TOI. They are working from home, and have to stay awake at night because of the time difference.
Nelson Sandesh, who has a job in Kuwait, came to India 16 months ago. “I came here for a short vacation in February 2020. A month later, flights were suspended to Kuwait. When they resumed, I fell ill. By the time I recovered, flights had been stopped again,” said Nelson. He has roots in Tallur, Udupi, and works in the food and beverage sector.
Not everyone has managed to retain their job despite a long absence. “I am a Canadian permanent resident and had come down on a short vacation to my hometown. I lost my job as I couldn’t return on time. I will have to find a new one after returning there,” said a youngster.
Meanwhile, 285 people heading abroad for various reasons, including studies, took their second dose of Covishield at a vaccination camp in Mangaluru on Friday. This was the third vaccination drive conducted by the Dakshina Kannada district administration in association with the Indian Red Cross Society to help NRIs, students and professionals.

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Sagar Biswas

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