NAGPUR: A total of 145
stranded in Russia since Feb-March following the lockdown landed at Nagpur's Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport in Vande Bharat flight at 12.15 am on Thursday. This was the first Vande Bharat Mission flight to land at Nagpur. Another similar flight from Russia with as many stranded students is likely to land at Nagpur June 23.
from local authorities of Madhya Pradesh held up the students, who had to keep waiting for over two-hours inside the airport.
Of these, 28 students were from Nagpur. They were immediately sent to 14-day paid
at a private hotel. The Chhattisgarh government had sent a sleeper bus for its 41 students who boarded it at the arrivals and immediately left for Raipur, around 280 kms from here, where they too would be quarantined in a private hotel.
Raipur district officials
escorted the students in separate official cars.
Fifty-one students from rest of the Maharashtra had made their own travel arrangments and left either with their guardian or in private taxis. The worst-hit were 25 students from Madhya Pradesh. The Nagpur district officials initially informed these 25 students that they would have to stay back in Nagpur under 14-day paid institutional quarantine as their parents had failed to bring a letter from their respective district magistrate (DM).
Parents were baffled after local officials insisted on the DM certificate in order to let them take their children with them soon after arrival.
The parents showed them the email from Indian Embassy which didn't mention any need for a DM letter but instructed parents to make own arrangement to ferry their kids to their hometowns out of Nagpur. People as far as Ujjain, Gwalior, Bhopal Jabalpur, Narsingpur and Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh had come to pick up their children.
Others were from Jalgaon, Gondia, Bhandara, Wardha and Raipur in Chhattisgarh.
MLC Prakash Gajbhiye, who had been instrumental in arranging the students' return, said the Nagpur officials tried to contact their counterparts in MP but to no
. "Some parents shared with me the Indian Embassy email giving instructions for pick up from Nagpur airport. Nowhere it stated that the parents would need a DM certificate. I informed the Nagpur officials who agreed to let the MP students go after completing due formalities. They will have to go into 14-day quarantine in their own cities," he said.
The stalemate continued for over two-hours before the students started walking out of arrivals. Many complained that they had gone without food for over 12 hours yet they were happy to return. Many outstation parents too had a difficult time waiting for their children. The parents had reached around 8pm on Wednesday and remained standing outside the arrivals gate till they saw their kids.