KOTTAYAM: ”Things changed rapidly when the rebels attacked and took control of the Tripoli Airport on July 13. We were really frightened by the continuous sounds of explosions and bombings. Suddenly, a feeling that we may also fall victim to the shell attack any time started strengthening in our minds. By God’s grace we returned safe,” Rosmine Joseph, who reached home by Tuesday noon from the strife-torn Libya told Express.
Rosmine, daughter of Joseph, hailing from Madukkakkuzhi at Kappad, Kanjirappalli, was among the first batch of Malayali nurses, who reached Kochi airport at 8.40 am on Tuesday. It was a great relief for the families when their agonising wait for the return of their children came to an end. Of the 48 members in the first batch, three Malayali nurses from Delhi went to the Capital city while a Telugu nurse from Hyderabad moved to her home land.According to Rosmine, the experience they had encountered for more than two weeks in Libya was horrifying, when the crisis escalated to Tripoli. “Though the life in Tripoli had not been so good as the Libyans were quite rough, we fell into real trouble when Tripoli became the focal point of the attack. The 15-minute daily journey from the hospital (Tripoli Medical Center) to the lodging place was a dangerous experience, though the hospital management had arranged a special bus for us,” she said. She said the financial crunch that hit Libya owing to the strife and the consequent closure of petrol companies prompted the Libyans to attack the foreigners. “Sometimes staying at home too was a risky affair as the Libyans started robbing foreigners in broad daylight,” she said.
She said that 365 Malayali nurses had joined the hospital in her batch in July 2013, and most of them wanted to leave the strife-torn country at the earliest.
“The delay in completing the procedures forced many of them to stay back. It takes many weeks to wind up the procedures to get the relieving order from the hospital owing to technical complexities.
One had to produce no-objection certificates from various government departments, including electricity, water, taxes and even banks to get them relieved from the job,” Rosmine said.
Officials of the Non-resident Keralites’ Affairs (NoRKA) and Anwar Sadath MLA were at the airport to receive the nurses.