With a majority of Afghan nationals living in India on medical visas, the lockdown has meant those here are running out of money.(Representational Image)
As labourers gather in large numbers at the Delhi-UP border to find a bus back home, a few kilometres away, hundreds of Afghan nationals wait anxiously for a mail confirming their tickets on a relief flight. Officials said the Embassy of Afghanistan has arranged for a limited number of flights to Kabul from Delhi to help them get home. With a majority of Afghan nationals living in India on medical visas, the lockdown has meant those here are running out of money.
“We have been told that there are some flights to Kabul in the next 10 days. There are limited seats on the flight, and the plane got full within hours. I will be flying with my family next week. I was here on medical visa. Given the circumstances, there are a lot of difficulties to get normal procedures done. It is better to wait at home,” said Qayaz, who hails from Kabul.
Locals said the Afghan Embassy sent out information two days ago about the flights. The cost of tickets is being borne by their ministry, and the process is being carried out online on a first-come-first-serve basis.
“Kam Air is operating five relief flights for their nationals for evacuation. These are ferry flights. The dates on which they will operate are March 28 and 30, and April 1, 3 and 5. The flights have already been cleared,” said a DGCA official.
The first bus arrived in Lajpat Nagar Saturday, and hundreds of Afghan nationals could be seen in the lanes. The Embassy has conveyed that a medical screening will take place in Kabul once they land. For those yet to find a place in the flights, there is still confusion on what the future holds.