Travel worries - GulfToday

Travel worries


Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Even though institutional quarantine is relaxed, majority of Indians from Gulf countries in particular, continue to face difficulties in travelling to their home country (‘India sets new travel rules, tweaks quarantine norms’, Aug.3, Gulf Today).

As the pandemic remains a threat for human existence, the whole world is giving priority to bring their citizens back home amid restrictions and giving suitable alternate options for their safe landing.  India has a large number of its people working overseas and their earnings are adding a sizeable sum to the country’s economy.  However, the Indian diaspora is not aptly recognised for their contributions, and that is proved in this difficult situation.

It is now six months since the pandemic gripped the world,  but the agony of overseas Indians continues and frequent changes in travel norms has affected their efforts to return home safely.  Some of the states like Kerala have insisted that passengers carry a negative test result certificate while travelling home. This mandatory requirement has further added to the travel woes due to non-availability of such test results in the specified timeframe in the countries they work in.

It is here that the role of the Indian missions in overseas countries, particularly Gulf states where millions of Indians live and earn, sometimes very low wages, comes in the picture.  

As far as overseas Indians are concerned, they rely on their missions in their respective countries for assistance and guidance. A recent report highlighted the suffering and lack of basic amenities faced by Indians in Iraq.

Authorities must review the situation and see what remedial options can be put in place so that their citizens can travel back home safely.    

Ramachandran Nair — Muscat

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