Passengers of the first repatriation flight to Punjab
Passengers of the first repatriation flight to Punjab Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The first-ever charter flight to repatriate stranded Indians in the UAE to Amritsar in the state of Punjab took off on Thursday morning from Dubai with a total of 209 passengers.

The Guru Nanak Darbar Gurudwara in Dubai, which arranged the flight, said it is in the process of arranging more charter flights to Amritsar in the coming days.

“The second flight is scheduled for June 27, two are in the pipeline, and we are working on six more flights in the coming weeks making sure they [stranded compatriots] reach home safely and at the earliest,” the Sikh temple said in a press statement.

“We are thankful to the Indian Consulate in Dubai and the Indian Embassy, UAE for all their support to make this [the first charter flight] happen. There has been a huge support from the members of the Khalsa Motorcycle Club UAE, who have been tirelessly helping us with this initiative. Special thanks to Punjab government for their timely approvals,” it stated.

Surender Singh Kandhari, chairman of the Gurudwara said: “We are happy to see that our brethren are being repatriated to their homes during this difficult situation in Dubai and hope that they all will reunite with their families after their quarantine at the earliest.”

He said the Gurudwara had been distributing meals to around 1,500 people every day since March with the help of the Indian Consulate and volunteers. The beneficiaries include blue-collar workers and the needy in the UAE during these difficult times of COVID-19.

“This is our commitment towards the society, as it also reminds us of our shared responsibility to treat others as we wish to be treated ourselves and the basic principles that bind people of different faiths together.”