Around 26,260 passengers returned to Mumbai from Doha until August 31, since the start of repatriation efforts shortly after the suspension of
Devendra Kumar Jain, appointed as civic officer on special duty, had instructed all 24 ward officers to make arrangements for 150 beds in each ward for these migrants who returned from Gulf and especially Doha and couldn’t afford
Ward officers provided free accommodation and, if the passengers were unable to make some nominal payment, then they scouted for hotels not charging over Rs 600 per day. Jain told Mirror, “Since these migrants from Gulf are poor and cannot afford to pay the institutional quarantine bills, we have asked 24 wards to make arrangements for 150 beds each. First it was for 14 days, then it was brought down to seven days and now it is for two days. All accommodation and food was for free and they were tested for Covid-19 and sent home. Nearly 1 lakh arrived in Mumbai. Almost all from Gulf, mainly Doha, were unemployed,” said Jain.V Worlikar, who worked as helicopter engineer in Doha told Mirror that he will be going back after six months. “I was stuck during the lockdown and luckily I have been called back with reduced allowances and with exceptional entry permit. We are being called back phase wise,” he said.
Worlikar said a lot of workers from airlines were laid off and labourers who worked on
Suhas Chavan, another passenger who arrived from Qatar and is unemployed, said that a
“Those who had to evacuate faster were given priority on medical grounds. Those who lost their jobs and visas expired were forced to leave. There were many contractual labourers and also permanent employees. There were some families of labourers who had to spend nights on footpaths and parking lots but they were rescued and sent back,” said Chavan.
Advocate Godfrey Pimenta said that since the outbreak of the pandemic, many people who have lost their jobs abroad have approached him for guidance. “I conducted an