Stranded In Kota: Students, Parents Appeal To Odisha CM To Ensure Their Safe Return

Bhubaneswar: Baidhar Mahakud, a lecturer from Simulia in Odisha’s Balasore, has written to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, requesting him to make arrangements to bring back his son and hundreds of Odia students stranded in Kota, Rajasthan, due to the nationwide lockdown.

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The Yogi Adityanath government government has already sent 250 buses to bring back around 7000 students of Uttar Pradesh after reaching a consensus with Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on students’ movement. The stranded students in Kota have also been running a Twitter campaign #sendusbackhome since the last two days.

With over 70 COVID-19 cases being reported from this coaching hub, where students from across the country are preparing for different entrance exams, parents in Odisha too are spending sleepless nights.

Speaking to Odisha Bytes, Mahakud said that his son, Raja Saheb, decided to stay back in Kota for some tests, but these were later cancelled and following the lockdown, he was unable to return home.

He is preparing for medical entrance at a private coaching institute and staying in a PG accommodation. “He has a very basic phone and is unable to take the tests online. All they are getting to eat is rice and dal with a piece of chilly and salt,” he said.

With the number of cases rising each passing day, they are worried about contracting the virus. “About three students have been infected. They go to mess for food. We fear they might catch the virus there,” the physical education teacher of Simulia College said.

Students from Bhadrak, Sambalpur, Balasore, Sundargarh, Puri, Dhenkanal, Jharsuguda, Angul and other districts of Odisha are waiting for help from the government to return home, said Mahakud, who had also made an appeal to the CM through social media.

Earlier in the day, some girl students from Rourkela stranded in Kota requested the Odisha CM through a video message, requesting him to make necessary arrangements for their return.

“We are all stressed and panicking here as some students in the hostel next to ours have contracted the infection. Our families back home are worried too. We are not being able to focus on our studies under such circumstances,” said Sweta Panda.

In another video message, some students from Puri have made a similar appeal to the CM.

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