By A Staff Reporter
LONDON June 30: Malayalees Stranded in UK's Whatsapp group, led by Anoop Sasidharan and Sanjay Menon, which was created to help and assist repatriate those stranded Malayalees and Indians in UK is entering its third month since it was created. In the last two months, the group has been the mainstay for those stranded to be provided information about flights and bookings and then following it up with providing help and assistance throughout the whole journey.
Sanjay Manon has been in the forefront in liaising with the Indian High Commission in London and with Air India and bringing to their attention the situation with those stranded and also constantly keeping them informed about those numbers still stranded in the UK.
Sanjay's consistent and persistent efforts have paved way for the High Commission and Air India to allot flights to Kochi as part of the Vande Bharath Mission to repatriate those stranded from the UK. He kept updating the Indian High Commission about the total numbers still stranded and alerting them that there are persons who are unwell and require to be reaching Kerala as a matter of emergency.
Bookings open online at http://airindia.in today (30th June) at 9am UK time. Scroll below to read step by step instructions to book a ticket from the website created by Malayalees Stranded in UK Whatsapp group admin Sanjay Menon. Join Malayalees Stranded in UK Whatsapp Group Click
It has to be noted that Phase 1 of the Vande Bharath Mission did not include a flight to Kochi. However, in Phase 2 of the Mission only a single direct flight was allotted to Kochi on May 19, 2020. This was the time when the Whatsapp group got active with coordinating those stranded and sharing information to help and assist those looking to secure a flight.
It was realised soon that without lack of coordination and liaisons with government officials there wouldn't be more flights allocated. This realisation led to Sanjay and Anoop collating further information about those stranded and sharing it with the authorities concerned.
Thus when Phase 3 was announced three flights were allocated to Kochi on 18th June, 24th June and 30th June. Finally the group, which is now entering into the third month of its operation, was able to secure two more flights in Phase 4 of the Vande Bharath Mission. Two flights are now allotted from London to Kochi on 10th July and 12th July.
The group has been consistent in providing support and assistance throughout the last two months. The group has also been involved in allaying fears when misinformation was shared or news which created confusion among those stranded and waiting to depart.
More volunteers have joined leading to more coordinated works with helping out each and every person by providing information and also setting up volunteer groups for each flight to ensure safety and well being of those vulnerable thus all those who are travelling are taken care off.
The group set ups different groups for those booking for different flights and thus the main group Malayalees Stranded in UK Whatsapp group had sub groups i.e. May 19 Whatsapp Group, June 18 Whatsapp Group, June 24 Whatsapp Group, June 30 Whatsapp Group and now two more will be created namely July 11 Whatsapp Group and July 12 Whatsapp Group. Once someone joins the main group Malayalees Stranded in UK Whatsapp Group they will receive help and assistance to book onto one of those days.
Once the booking is secured they get moved onto the respective groups from where further volunteer list are created after identifying the vulnerable travelling by that particular flight. Those who have travelled will also return the favour to the group by doing a blog of their journey for those rest of those stranded to learn and understand on how the journey is and also what are the requirements at the airport, experience throughout the flight, stopovers and finally the quarantine experience back in Kerala.
It has been two months now that the group has been consistently providing information and therefore this website wishes the group all the best to those volunteers who have been selflessly working to help those needy at such difficult times. To Join Malayalees Stranded in UK Whatsapp Group Click https://chat.whatsapp.com/LLckNs8qd5SISUTpZ54wDd
Step by step instructions to book a ticket from the website