As the Covid-19 pandemic unfolded in the gulf nation, many people wanted to return back home. Repatriation of people to Odisha would not have been possible without a flight to Bhubaneswar as any other destination within India would have created logistical, operational, and financial constraints for the returning expatriates given the travel restrictions in place.
“In view of the situation, Bahrain Odia Samaj (BOS) reached out to the Odia diaspora providing relief package to those in need, said Susmita Rout, General Secretary of Bahrain Odia Samaj.” She further added, “The Samaj had rounds of discussion with the Government of India, the Government of Odisha and the Indian Embassy in Bahrain to schedule a flight to Bhubaneswar under the Vande Bharat Mission and finally a flight was scheduled to bring back stranded Odias from Bahrain on 20th June 2020.”
Expressing satisfaction over the scheduling of a flight to Bhubaneswar, Bidush Nanda, Vice – President of Bahrain Odia Samaj, said “our desire to help the Odia diaspora along with the cooperation from the government agencies and Indian Embassy in Bahrain has finally yielded the desired result. As people boarded the flight with a smile on their face, Tapan Mishra, President of Bahrain Odia Samaj, expressed deep sense of gratitude to Narendra Modi, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Naveen Patnaik, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Odisha, Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble Minister of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Steel.
He also thanked Dr. S. Jaishankar, Hon’ble Minister of External Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, Hon’ble Minister of Civil Aviation and to Norbu Negi, Second Secretary, Indian Embassy in Bahrain for arranging a flight to Bhubaneswar. Mr. Mishra said that the Samaj, with its large number of members, has always been at the forefront to help fellow Odias, and this time it has extended all possible help to people looking to be repatriated, especially the blue-collar workers.