A Russian family is stranded at their friend’s home in Dwarka in Devbhumi Dwarka district due to the coronavirus lockdown even as the host himself is stranded at an ashram in Rajasthan.
Vitaly Ziuzin (35), his wife Galina (28) and their son Sviatoslav (3) reached Dwarka on March 2 but hotels in the town were full due to upcoming Holi. Eventually, the couple put up at Saibaba Ashram in Dwarka. But a few days later, they shifted to the upper-storey of tenanment owned by Dhaval Vayeda, a priest at Dwarkadhish temple.
“I met the couple when they visited India around a decade ago. They visit Dwarka regularly and we became friends. When I came to know that Vitaly was finding it difficult to book a hotel room, I offered them upper storey of our home,” 36-year-old Dhaval said.
But on March 15, Dhaval left Dwarka along with one Niranjagiri alias Maunibaba, who was on his way back to his Juna Akhara Bhairav Ashram in Pushkar, Rajasthan.
Before the priest could return to his hometown, the lockdown was announced leaving the Russian couple and Dhaval’s parents—Jaykant and Mrudula— in the house.
“My plan was leave for Vrundavan on March 27. We had tickets of Uttaranchal Express train. We were to board the return flight to Russia on April 1. We are not sure when we shall be able to return,” Vitaly, a computer engineer, told The Indian Express over phone on Tuesday.
He said that soon after the lockdown was announced, he contacted Russian embassy in New Delhi. “The last flight to Moscow from Delhi was on April 1. They said that we cannot fly because we had come to India before first of January. They said that they will first take people who came to India after first of January,” Vitaly said adding he landed in India on October 13.
The computer engineer said that he has been visiting India every winter since the year 2011. “I met my guru in Ujjain in 2012 and have been following Hindu religion since,” he said.
Galina is a painter and is six-months pregnant. “The Russian government supports us. They’ve sent us money. I also work online. So, money is not a problem,” Vitaly said.
Jaykant, who retired as a worker from Tata Chemicals said accommodating their foreign guests has been a good experience. “In initial days, their son used to come downstairs to play with us. He still comes on an off. But most of the time, the family keeps it to themselves,” said Jaykant
Vivek Barhat, mamlatdar of Dwarka said the state government is helping the family. “Since the woman is pregnant, our block help officer took her to a private clinic to have a sonography and blood tests done. Reports returned normal. Besides that, the family is purchasing their own ration and cooking their meal,” said the mamlatdar.