KOCHI: After several days of ordeal, 44 nurses arrived from strife-torn Libya at the Nedumbassery Airport here on Tuesday. They flew back to India in a Dubai Emirates flight at 8.45 am.
Anwar Sadat MLA welcomed them along with their kith and kin. The NORKA help desk at the airport collected all documents pertaining to the nurses who returned from Libya and has granted Rs 2,000 for their conveyance. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, the other day had requested the External Affairs Minister to send an aircraft to facilitate the safe return of the nurses from Libya. From Libya, they were first taken to Tunisia and then to Dubai.
So far 322 nurses who expressed their wish to return have registered with the NORKA. Two aircraft which could carry 300 people each will be sent to Libya to take them back. The embassy is leaving no stones unturned to bring the nurses back.
The nurses said that many of them are yet to get their allowances. Though some got cheques, they could not take cash as banks were closed. They have given the cheques to those who chose to stay back so that it could be encashed. Now the situation is such that the embassy would have to intervene to get their money back. Many who tried to send the money through banks came under the clutches of insurgents and lost their money.
They said that, as the war got fierce, people stopped coming to the hospitals and many wards had to be closed down. They could not even get help from the police as insurgents roam in the city in the guise of police officers, they said.