The High Court of Kerala on Saturday asked the Indian government to respond to a public interest litigation seeking the return of Indian expats stranded in the UAE because of the coronavirus outbreak. The petitioners say the Indian government had “refused permission to chartered flight services even though some airlines were ready to operate special flights”.
A day earlier, a petition seeking chartered flights to fly back Indians stranded in the UAE was also filed before the Supreme Court of India by the migrant welfare society Pravasi Legal Cell.
These two cases shed light on the dilemma of expatriates who for long asked their governments to fly them home as they remain stranded in the UAE without jobs or means of support. That includes Indian, Pakistanis and Filipinos.
As COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, millions of people lose their jobs because of the economic impact. The world is already in a deep recession. Stranded expatriates thus feel ‘betrayed’ by their governments which are reluctant to evacuate them.