Stuck in India for six weeks, 250 South Africans desperately want to come home

SAA planes at OR Tambo International Airport, 14 November 2019. Picture: Neil McCartney

The group is running out of patience, consisting of elderly and ill people, including a stage four cancer patient and a heart patient, have run out of medication and money.

A group of 250 South Africans have been stranded in India have been waiting six weeks for the government to bring them back home.

Some in the group were visiting the country on vacation and others for business have quickly run out of money as both Indian and SA governments had to close their borders and cancel flights due to the coronavirus outbreak, as reported by TimesLIVE.

They are running out of patience, with the group consisting of elderly and ill people have run out of medication which includes a stage four cancer patient and a heart patient.

Pravienna Naidoo started a petition on Change.org after her elderly mother and aunt are both stuck in south India.

The online campaign is petitioning the government to start repatriation and has received nearly 4,000 signatures.

“Medication has run out. Money is running out. Nerves are frazzled. Emotions are running high. Negativity is spiralling. Depression is setting in. Families are separated and distraught, consumed with worry for their stranded parents, siblings, spouses and children​,” reads the petition.

During the past six weeks, Naidoo has made several pleas to the department of international relations and cooperation (Dirco) for any type of assistance.

On Tuesday, Dirco spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele said: “We are aware of them and we are working on getting them assisted to come back home.”

(Compiled by Sandisiwe Mbhele)

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