Jiji Varghese
Jiji Varghese Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A Dubai-based Indian businessman has announced that he will sponsor a chartered flight to repatriate 185 stranded Indians in the UAE to Kochi in Kerala.

Jiji Varghese, managing director of J&J Marketing L.L.C in Dubai, made the announcement in a press statement issued on Sunday.

Gulf News had earlier reported about the first two free community charter flights sponsored by Kairali TV, the chairman of which is Malayalam superstar Mammootty, and community group Overseas Malayali Association (Orma).

The free flight announced by Varghese, which is tentatively scheduled for July 3, is likely the first individually-sponsored charter flight.

In the press release, Varghese stated said that he would bear the ticket fare and COVID rapid testing fees at the departing airport (Dubai) for around 185 Indians from the UAE who are waiting to get repatriated to Kochi.

His company is a leading market distributor in the stationery industry with a network in over 20 countries.

Varghese stated that the CSR initiative is absolutely his personal initiative and “a small step taken towards the responsibility and commitment to serve others.”

“This fully sponsored flight is aimed to offer our extended hand to people who are chronically ill, with significant medical ailments, pregnant women, low-income workers, people who have lost their jobs and basically who are not in a financial capacity to bear the cost.”

“We have received immense support from community groups in the UAE such as Marthoma Church-Sharjah, Indian Association-Sharjah, Indian Association-UAQ, PTA Association, INCAS-Sharjah, Valley of Love, AKCAF TASK FORCE, the influential network of Kerala colleges alumni, World Malayalee Council, to name a few.”

He said all necessary guidelines in connection with the process would be strictly observed.

“We have an excellent dedicated team to list-out the deserving people. Offering a helping hand unexpectedly at a crucial time could be seen as the most valuable and memorable gesture, so I [hope that] this initiative could be beneficial for all those who would be flown back to their hometown,” stated Varghese.

“This mission will not be complete if I do not mention and recognise my team’s effort, and we are in utmost appreciation and gratitude for the continual efforts taken by all the individuals who are actively volunteering to make this good initiative a great success. Above all, I thank our Almighty for making all things happen,” he added.