Kuwait: GCC carries out commendable Mission Vande Bharat for repatriating stranded Goans

Gasper Crasto

Kuwait, Jul 13: Mission Vande Bharat - repatriation flight to Goa took off on July 12 at 1.00 pm from Kuwait International airport.

The flight was arranged through the efforts of the Goan Cultural Centre (GCC) and especially its president Carmo Santos working in close coordination with the Indian Embassy, Directorate of NRI Affairs - Goa, and airline authorities in Kuwait.

It should be noted that the Goan Cultural Centre is the only Goan association registered with the Indian Embassy in Kuwait.

The flight was the first under the Mission Vande Bharat to help people stranded in Kuwait to return home amid the pandemic; GoAir airline based in Mumbai was the flight carrier.

As many as 15 amnesty-seeking Goans confined to camps since March 2020 were on board the flight, apart from a woman who was in prison, and a sick man in hospital.

Most of the other 145 passengers on board had lost their jobs, had their work-hours reduced, or had their businesses affected due to the impact of COVID-19.

Vande Bharat Mission

The Vande Bharat Mission was made possible mainly because of the untiring efforts of the GCC president, Carmo Santos, and Agnello A S Fernandes, and strong support rendered by Anthony D’Souza – director, NRI Affairs – Goa, Valencio Rodrigues – Goa, Rajesh Venugopal - Kapico Tours & Travels, GoAir and the Indian Embassy in Kuwait.

Ranvir Bharati, a second secretary to the Indian Embassy was present at the airport to monitor the proceedings.

People who were actively involved in the arrangements apart from the Goan Cultural Centre (GCC) president, Carmo Santos, were GCC members, Martino Afonso, Carrie Santos, Monica De Mello, Trupti Marshall, Agnello Fernandes, Neeta Fernandes, Bosco Leitao, Jessie Leitao, Gasper Crasto, Arlette Fernandes, Timmy De Mello, Allison Fernandes and Salvador Dias.

“It gives us great satisfaction to have helped our amnesty seeking Goans in particular,” said an exhausted but exuberant Carmo Santos.

All passengers (barring a few who were missed) were provided with meal packets by Goan Cultural Centre, while free COVID tests and hotel quarantine facilities for amnesty people are also being arranged by the association through the goodwill of the Goa government.

Incidentally, this is the second flight of stranded Goans to fly out from Kuwait, earlier on June 26. An IndiGo chartered flight carrying 160 Goans landed safely in Goa.

NRI director, good samaritan

Anthony J D'Souza, director of NRI Affairs, Goa Government was supportive of the Vande Bharat Mission flight all through while Goa-based youngster Valencio Rodrigues emerged as a good samaritan in the repatriation flights from abroad, relentlessly liaising to ensure that flights have all the necessary permission like landing rights, adequate quarantine facilities for incoming passengers etc.

Goan Cultural Centre thanked every Goan involved in helping out to make the Mission Vande Bharat a success and thanked the Indian government in a big way.


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Title : Kuwait: GCC carries out commendable Mission Vande Bharat for repatriating stranded Goans


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