Flow of emotions at family reunion

Muscat: There was a flow of emotions when families stuck due to COVID-19 situation either in India or in Muscat, met after a long gap.

Darwish Ellickal and Fazeena Darwish, along with many other families onboard the Salam Air flight, OV 1582, landed in Muscat from Kochin on Wednesday.

Fazeena Darwish, Darwish’s wife and mother of two, and her 9- year-old son Armaan were in tears after joining the family, thanks to the kind gesture of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Public Authority for Civil Aviation (PACA), and the Royal Oman Police (ROP). They rose to the request of Darwish and his daughter.

Seven-year-old, Zoya, daughter of Darwish, had not seen her mother for almost five months ever since she went home for a brief holiday before the COVID-19 was declared a pandemic.

Fazeena and Armaan could not take the last flight which left Kozhikode to Muscat on March 17 as airports remained closed and all flight services came to a halt after the pandemic started to spread. They had to return to their hometown, Thalassery, which is some 85 kilometres away from the airport.

“My daughter has been in tears ever since she came to know that she wouldn’t be able to see her mother till the time the airports reopen. I took a chance by approaching the Indian Embassy, the MoFA, PACA, and the ROP.”

“I had been exploring all possibilities of bringing them back as Zoya never lived away from her mother for such a long period. I approached the MoFA as instructed by Rakesh Adlakha of the Indian Embassy. And after getting clearance from the MoFA, I went to the PACA for clearance which said to approach either the Oman Air or Salam Air.”

The Embassy had earlier secured the arrival of some 200 students from India who were stuck in their country after the international gateways were closed.

The Salam Air repatriation charter flight from Kochin to Muscat had nearly 167 women, children, medical practitioners, and labourers who came back to the Sultanate after the MoFA issued permission to travel to the Sultanate.