Goans wait to board the special flight.
Imran Mojib, Special Correspondent
The efforts made by Indian community organisations to repatriate Indians who were waiting anxiously to return home due to the difficult situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic took another leap as 187 residents of Goa, the smallest state of India, left Dubai on a special flight on Tuesday.
A chartered flight was arranged by Goans Connecting Goans Association (GSCGS) with FlyDubai and AMH Tourism to repatriate the Goan diaspora. The Goan diaspora is spread across all emirates of the UAE and are engaged in different industries and businesses.
“As authorities both in India and the UAE assessed the best next steps to start safe repartition flights, we at GSCGS listened to the numerous Goan voices and concerns and offered support by providing the best valuable and verified information we had,” said GSCGS President Joseph Dias.
He said that during the last two weeks working with FlyDubai, AMH Tourism, Government of Goa, Consulate General of India, Dubai, to seek the necessary approvals to operate the special flight was a tedious task.
Goans seen inside the plane ahead of its takeoff.
“Nevertheless, I am absolutely humbled to see our young Goans with vibrant energy levels supporting and coming forward selflessly to support the cause and workings together as one team. I could see the radiance of young Goans joining hands for a good cause and that reflects the power of togetherness,” he added.
Dias thanked Vipul, Consul General of India in Dubai, Goa state government, Suresh Babu, general manager of AMH Tourism, Buthaina Khoori CEO, GSCGS founder members Reginald Goudinho, Janardan Goletakar and Jules Fernandes for their tireless efforts.
He also hailed the efforts of GSCGS team members Siddesh Kamat, Amey Madkaiker, Mahy Mahesh, Oliento Dacosta and Aslam Mohammed.
GSCGS president lauded the support of Vijai Sardesai and Durgadas Kamat of Goa Forward Party, who provided also the necessary support needed in India to make this charter flight a reality.
Amey Madkaiker, one of the passengers, said that he was working with an events and exhibitions company in Dubai. But due to the Covid-19 pandemic, events and exhibitions were not taking place for the past few months, which made it difficult for him to cope with the daily expenses. He was finally relieved that a dedicated flight for Goans was organised by GSCGS and was grateful to be part of the team.
Another passenger, William Britto commented, “Big thank you to Goans Connecting Goan Group for organising this chartered flight. Your selfless services to the community will always be admired.”
Thanking the team, passenger Leroy mentioned “You’ll have the prayers of all the people who will be united with their families today.”
Raj, another passenger on the flight, shared his emotions quoting, “It was really a tough time for the all of us but you made it happen.”
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