london sources stated that it was Tasmay Oza’s childhood dream to study in London. It did come true for a while too. But the lockdown has left the 21-year-old from anand, gujarat, stranded in the city with almost no money.Oza, like thousands of other indian students, did not qualify for the first of the seven repatriation flights which left the UK for india on saturday with the elderly, vulnerable or people with emergencies on board. “I respect that they have given priority to the elderly, but our situation is bad too. We have taken hu- ge student loans and lost our jobs,” said Oza who has “bar- ely one month’s funds left”.
The indian National students Association UK (INSA UK) has been deluged with phone calls from stranded students. “Their student residences are often campuses away from the city that are like ghost towns now with no facilities and with the domestic students having left. Their parents from india are calling us asking us to get their kids back,” said president amit Tiwari. INSA volunteers have been delivering bags of food and hot meals to penniless students.
With UK universities closed and courses having shifted online, many students would rather complete their studies in India. But for Kalpesh Koli from mumbai, that is not an option. He is in the second year of MBA and needs to have an 11-month internship. He had a well-paid internship as a buyer, but that ended due to Covid 19.Harendra Jodha, head of the rajasthan Association UK, together with 90 volunteers, delivers Akshaya Patra meals and grocery bags to stranded indian students and anyone else in need every day. “One indian student looked like a homeless person. I gave him four bags of groceries,” Jodha said