More than 200 Indians stranded in the West African nation of Guinea have appealed the Indian government to help them and save their lives. With the Covid-19 pandemic wreaking havoc across the globe, this sizable Indian diaspora is stuck in an alien country with no resources, medical facilities and response from the Indian government.
For the past two months they have left no stone unturned to reach out to their government through mails, tweets and social media. Their entire hope rests on the ongoing Vande Bharat Mission, which has not yet reached any African country. While some have run out of expenses to pay for their hotel stays, some risk expiry of their visas. Rahul Tare from Conakry, Guinea, says, “I was here to supervise one project. I am working with a logistics company.
My return ticket was on 28 March but because of the lockdown, I was unable to go back to India. Here, they are not aware of Covid-related precautions and measures, at least we don’t find any. We all Indians are trying to stay at home as much as possible and we are very scared.” Tare said he hails from Thane, Maharashtra. Meanwhile, several stranded Indians in Guinea tried to contact the Indian embassy for help but they were turned down, saying it too received no response from the Indian government.
With their visas expiring in a few days, they fear for their future. Rahul Mahajan, who’s stuck in Guinea for over two months now, while sharing his plight, said, “I was about to go back to India in the first week of April. But due to lockdown, I am helpless and waiting for flights. When I contacted the Embassy, they said there was no response from our government yet. My visa is only till 30 May. I am clueless what will happen.” Lack of resources and poor medical facilities are also important reasons behind the growing fear among stranded people in West Africa.
Another stranded Indian — a 30-year old man hailing from Ludhiana, Punjab — said there were no medical facilities in that country and appealed to the PM and the External Affairs Minister to airlift them from Conakry, Guinea. “I want to come back to India. I am facing a lot of problems here, also my parents are alone back home and they are senior citizens,” he said.