MEA Opens 24×7 Helpline for Indians Stranded Abroad

The Ministry of External Affairs has set up a 24×7 helpline for the Indians stranded abroad in the COVID-19 outbreak. The MEA informed the Delhi High Court about the helpline; in a plea seeking evacuation of an Indian student stuck in Edinburg.

The petitioner prayed for the evacuation of his son from Edinburgh. Additionally, he asked for medical and protective facilities for his son i.e. masks and sanitizer. However, no physical help provided yet to his son. Except for an email and a phone call by the consulate general. Mr Amit Mahajan, appearing for the MEA, submitted that the government is working along with the government of the United Kingdom. However, the petitioner’s son cannot be brought back due to the lockdown, said Mahajan.

“10. The status report of the Ministry of External Affairs states that the son of the petitioner had informed that presently he was not facing any health issues and was primarily concerned about coming back to India.”
“11. It is pointed out that two Indian stores are located within walking distance from where he is staying besides their being other supermarkets where, as per the information received, there is sufficient supply of food items and no shortage of food items has been reported so far.”

The Verdict

The son of the petitioner advised to register himself with the high commission. So that necessary updates and advisories can be shared with him. MEA also assured the court that the consulate general of India in Edinburg is working for the Indians stranded; through student associations, community groups etc by providing all assistance in Scotland.

Given the assurances and submissions by MEA, the Court said it didn’t feel the need to pass any more orders on the matter and disposed of the matter accordingly. However, liberty granted to the petitioner to approach the Court again in future if the need arises.