As Jayalaxshmi Pillai saw her younger sister Latha Manappan walk in towards the reporting counter, she waved and shouted out her name through the glass facade. A tear dripped down and she said in her local dialect, Tamil, “I am relieved now. She is never going back there.”
The 28-year-old was one amongst the 190 Indian Nationals evacuated from Yemen. As soon as Latha stepped out with just a carton and a small bag with her name written with chalk, she kissed her elder sister.
IAF aircraft 370 with 190 Indian nationals from Yemen landed at Mumbai International Airport at 3.30 am Thursday morning. In the multi-agencies coordinated effort, the Indian Air Force deployed two C-17 Globemasters III aircrafts to Djibouti on April 1.
From all over India. State wise numbers of those evacuated from Aden and getting ready to fly back home today. pic.twitter.com/Znp9pU4Jmw
— Syed Akbaruddin (@MEAIndia) April 1, 2015
Of the 349 people rescued, the remaining were directed towards Kochi. The passengers exited from the G-5 gate at airport’s P-4 level. According to GVK officials, all the passengers were supposed to be dropped at their respective residences by authorities.
The evacuation from Yemen comes after government of India ordered Indian nationals to vacate the conflict zone.
Nitish Gopalan, brother in law of Rajini Hari – a nurse residing in Sana’a – said that she had called on Sunday to inform the family that she has stopped going for work in a government run hospital near her house. “Earlier they were taking patients and treating them. In the last two days the situation became worse and she stopped reporting for work.”
Rajini lived with few other nurses from Kerela. Gopalan, a Panvel resident, said, “She could constantly hear bombing outside her house. Once she made me hear the bombings over the phone,” he said.
The situation in Sana’a worsened in the last 10 days alleged Gopalan. About a month ago, Rajini’s husband who works in Abu Dhabi, visited her in Yemen. “Till then the situation was under control,” Nitish said. After stepping out, she told the Indian Express, “I hardly ate in the last few days. The situation is not good. Several of my other hospital friends are still stuck there.”
Pillai, elder sister of Lata, another nurse working in Yemen, said her sister had been working since last four years for a salary of Rs 45,000 per month.
The 28-year-old was “terrified to hear the sound of gun fire and bomb shells everyday”. “There were tensions in her vicnity since over a month now,” her Mulund based sister said.
According to her family, she last called them at 2 pm IST on Wednesday to inform about her departure from Djibouti.
“She will not go back now,” Jayalaxmi said resolutely.
Another family to return from Yemen were Khan’s from Pune. Afroz Khan, who returned back along with her husband and son, said, “The situation is grim. And we hope people are rescued soon. We were lucky to return back at this point.”
Mohammad Irshad, who returned with his wife and one-year-old daughter, was working as a financial analyst for the last seven years in Yemen. “We were informed about evacuation few days ago and we packed whatever we could to reach India,” he said.
The rescued Indians are from West Bengal, Pune, Mumbai, Kerela, and Tamil Nadu. More than 100 passengers are from TN and Kerela. According to MP Kirit Somaiya, who was also present at the airport, the Maharashtra government has made arranged for the nationals to return back to their native place. “Travelling allowance of Rs 3,000 has been given to people for train,” he said.
According to central railways general manager, SK Sood, three trains will leave Mumbai with over 130 passengers from Yemen. The Netravati train will depart for Kerala from Lokmanya Tilak Terminus with 60 passengers, while a Duronto Express to Kolkata will carry 30 passengers. The Chennai Express will have 40 more passengers from Yemen to Tamil Nadu. “Under the emergency quota, we have cancelled tickets of other passengers and booked tickets of these over 100 people. Two extra coaches have been added in Duronto and Netravati for this purpose. An escort will also accompany each to their residence,” Sood said.
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