Sheffield’s Indian students say news from home is ‘devastating’

Indian students living in Sheffield have said they are concerned about their prospects of going home this year and are fearful of the state they might find their country in when they get to return.

India has been ravaged by the pandemic with Monday’s infection rate as high as 323,023 bringing total number of cases to 17,636,307 and as many as 197,894 deaths. Recently, India was also added to the UK’s travel red list.

Rupal Mundhra, an Indian student at The University of Sheffield, said: “It is a relief that the Prime Minister is sending aid to India as the situation in UK is improving and a lot of help is needed back home. Personally, many people in my family have tested positive and that was really scary as I could not help them.

“We hear news of relatives passing away everyday which is devastating. My state, Chattisgarh, is a hotspot for the virus. It makes me sick to check the news everyday. The hospitals are working overtime and critical patients are turned away because of lack of facilities.”

Saloni Ladha, another Indian student at The University of Sheffield, said: “India has entered a very dark tunnel with seemingly no light at the end of it. A few of my family family members have tested positive and even been hospitalised and with me being in another continent altogether, I cannot help but worry.

“There are times when I fear that I might not be able to say goodbye to some people or that the last time I met my family could actually be the last time. The certain decreases in vaccines and other essential health care facilities is incredibly scary and we need help how if we want to prevent a catastrophe.”

Kathakali Jana, a journalist from India, said: “The suffering of the Indian people in the second wave of COVID 19 has taken on tragic proportions due to failing healthcare infrastructure and the apathy of the ruling party at the centre.”

Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s tweet pledging support to India, the first of 9 shipments, containing 100 ventilators and 95 oxygen concentrators have arrived in New Delhi today. According to the British High Commission in New Delhi, nine airliners containing 495 oxygen concentrators, 120 non-invasive ventilators and 20 manual ventilators will be sent this week.


Written by Madhubani Jana

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