With repatriation flights starting to India, a community organisation has stepped in to help people who have an urgent need to travel but do not have the means to do so.
Accordingly, the Cultural Forum has decided to arrange for the tickets of 50 eligible expatriates from the southern Indian state of Kerala in the first phase.
Those who can avail of the facility include ailing persons, people with low income, those who have lost jobs, housemaids and those who are stuck in Qatar after arriving on a business or on-arrival visa, the forum has said.
The first repatriation flight departed Doha on May 9 for Kochi, carrying 178 passengers. More flights are expected in the coming days as the Indian government carries out its Vande Bharat mission around the world, helping Indians stranded in different countries reach home.
“In the first phase, tickets will be given to 50 people who need such financial assistance,” said forum president Dr Taj Aluva.
Only those who are selected by the Indian embassy for a repatriation flight will be given tickets and the beneficiaries will be decided by the forum after checking their
Those wishing to benefit from the ticket assistance can approach the forum through its functionaries.
Dr Aluva said the scheme is being implemented in co-operation with “generous persons and business establishments in Qatar”.
“More people will be given aid in the following phases as per the need,” he said, adding that similar facilities are being provided in other GCC
countries as well.
The forum has set up a help desk to support people in need, and those requiring assistance can call 50263835. It has also deputed volunteers at various quarantine centres across Qatar, where are engaged in activities such as distributing food.
Dr Aluva said the forum is duly prepared to provide assistance at quarantine centres as required. Besides, the forum’s volunteers are actively engaged in distributing food kits among persons in need.
These are in addition to operating a special health desk that functions under the supervision of physicians and field experts. Also, a team of legal volunteers is working to provide services related to immigration, the Indian embassy and the Department of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs.