MUSCAT: Muscat International Airport has been a witness to many scenes of hellos and goodbyes. Most recently, however, there had been more stories told by people with joy in their eyes. This gateway to Oman has seen children excitedly running towards the waiting embrace of their fathers and mothers and many, finally able to give a sigh of relief as the feeling that uncertainty in their journey back was finally over and they are finally on the path of recovery. The moments are so powerful it made most of them cry.
Reuniting with one’s family after some six months being away due to the lockdown is indeed a matter of immense joy for those who have been subjected to this temporary detachment from family.
Volunteer groups are helping Omani residents who have been stuck abroad to come back by completing all the formalities as well as arranging travel for them.
“We have so far managed to bring in more than 300 people from Indian states,” says Kintu Shah, member of a volunteer group that helps stranded Indians return to the Sultanate of Oman.
“No effort would have borne fruits without the support from Oman’s authorities, the MoFA, the ROP the Airports Authority, and special thanks go to my team members, Nidhi Kaur and Aazad Krishan who have helped tirelessly and selflessly. Also, Mahendar Pillay, Sales Manager of Oman Air, Arun Verma, and all friends who helped and supported you,” she added.
She has never imagined that an effort to come back to Oman would lead her to touch so many lives and it would help so many people.
“Every moment and the tireless days and nights that I and my team have worked hard to complete the endless paperwork was worth it when we see the smiles and the happy tears we have seen on the people’s faces who could board those flights and reunite with their families.
The words of appreciation and gratitude that the team received have overwhelmed them with joy and inspired them to do more, work harder and help out more people.
Those who have managed to come back to Oman are helping others who are stranded too. Kaushik Dutta Gupta, Rinky Kanabar and Lalit Mulani who got approved through these WhatsApp groups are now helping and advising other groups too.
According to Kintu, the idea of helping others separated from their beloved ones and stuck in India as the flights were grounded in March this year came to her when she herself was found in such a situation. She really had struggled to return to Oman without any source or help after she was stuck in India since March. She later came along with other 180 passengers on Oman Air.
“After I succeeded in coming back to Oman, I helped many such stranded Indians. We are making sure to bring back every resident who seeks our help,” she said.
Her next group is scheduled to come on August 20, followed by a couple more flights full of expats scheduled to arrive.
She further said that all those arrive through her WhatsApp group are strongly advised to undergo quarantine, isolation if proved positive, and to obey all COVID-19 rules and regulations once their return flight is confirmed.