An Indian organisation is mulling the idea of chartering flights to the southern state of Kerala at a ‘reasonable and competent fare’ to repatriate community members stranded due to Covid-19.
“We are in talks with various ministries of the Government of India as well as various airlines to charter flights," S A M Basheer, president of Qatar Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC), told Gulf Times.
S A M Basheer
"If the authorities concerned approve the proposals, we can arrange the flights to the four international airports in Kerala within a few days on a very competitive and reasonable fare,” he explained.
It is learnt that over 44,000 Indians, including several thousand Keralites, have registered with the Indian embassy for repatriation citing urgent matters.
The number of flights allotted to Kerala from Qatar as part of ‘Vande Bharat’ mission are few in number while the demand is so high.
KMCC has over 26,000 members in Qatar. The organisation is happy to make arrangements for the needy community members from Kerala to fly home, according to Basheer.
"What we are offering is a one-way ticket on discounted rates to Kerala. We are in talks with the Indian Embassy, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of External Affairs and different airlines to charter the flights. We have already submitted application to the authorities concerned and waiting for approvals. The facility is exclusively for Keralites, not just for our members," Basheer explained.
“We are happy to make the necessary arrangements to charter the flights, provided the governments permit us. It is done without any profit and purely on humanitarian consideration,” continued, Basheer.
The KMCC official said that among the stranded people, there are many jobless people without any income and not in a position to meet their daily needs. There are also many suffering from illnesses.
“The number of chartered flights will depend on the approval from the government and the number of people who come forward to register for the facility, noted Basheer.
The official highlighted that last month, KMCC delivered food kits to over 20,000 people as well as 1,250 Iftar kits daily during the holy month of Ramadan. In collaboration with Hamad Blood Donation Centre, KMCC recently organised blood donation camps twice.
KMCC has also a ‘Medichain’ service to bring medicines from India for patients, which was helpful to thousands of expats suffering from illnesses.