26 Fijians stranded in India, call for aid
31 March, 2020, 7:00 pm
TWENTY-SIX Fijian nationals who are stranded in New Delhi, India, want urgent Government assistance as they do not have enough money to look after themselves for another 14 days.
The group includes patients who had heart surgeries and family members who accompanied them.
They were scheduled to fly out of New Delhi on March 28 but the Indian Government imposed a 21-day nationwide curfew that stopped all movement in and out of the country.
“We are currently residing in hotel Blue Stone at Kaushambi, Ghaziabad Delhi,’ said Nadi resident Asaf Ali.
He had a heart by-pass surgery and longed to come home immediately.
“We had budgeted to stay here until after the surgery and now we have to stay here for another 16 days.”
“We don’t have the money and we are only eating breakfast and dinner to survive.” Mr Ali said they were paying $77 a day for a double bedroom and $103 for a room that sleeps three people.
“An additional cost of $50 is charged for meals per day per family,” he said.
“We request the authorities in Fiji to assist us please.”
Mr Ali said he sold two vehicles in Fiji to raise money for his treatment.
“I personally don’t have any money here and I am pleading for assistance.”
Minister for Foreign Affairs Inia Seruiratu told The Fiji Times that the Fiji High Commission in New Delhi and staff in Suva were now co-ordinating to see how the 26 Fijian nationals could be assisted.
“I have got a team there in New Delhi with the High Commissioner who’s trying to reach each and everyone,” he said.
“I don’t know if each of them specifically needs money, but that is a possibility. Because of the lockdown, people will be running out of money.”
Mr Seruiratu said the Fiji High Commission staff were also facing difficulty in moving around during this lockdown period in India.
“I am also asking people, including you The Fiji Times, if you have a number or contact of anyone stranded there who can assist, please pass that information to us and my team in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will co-ordinate with them,” he said.