Bhubaneswar: As the COVID pandemic started to spread its tentacles across the globe, the island nation of Bahrain, situated in the middle east, implemented a series of precautionary measures to protect its citizens and residents. At stake was livelihood of many people, a significant number of whom are expatriate workers from India and other Asian nations.
Because of the proactive measures taken by the country, the prevalence of the disease is not very widespread. However, as observed in other gulf countries, the vulnerable blue-collar expatriate workers were affected on account of the restrictions imposed due to the partial lockdown.
As the COVID impacted the island nation, some of the Odia people (people from the state of Odisha, India), faced challenges including that of employment. The silver lining, not many Odia workers have tested positive for COVID, however some of them have lost their jobs or are having issues related to timely payment of salary.
Considering the seriousness of the situation, Bahrain Odia Samaj (“BOS”) undertook numerous measures to help the Odia workers. At first, BOS undertook distribution of essential items to fellow Odia brothers who were in need of such help. BOS team also helped people to register with the Indian Embassy in Bahrain for repatriation.
During this period, members of BOS were constantly in touch with the Office of the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Odisha, Shri. Dharmendra Pradhan (Hon’ble Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel), Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Civil Aviation in India and Indian Embassy in Bahrain. They continuously and tirelessly pursued with all the government agencies to schedule a flight to Bhubaneswar to carry fellow Odias from Bahrain. Finally, their efforts bore fruit and a flight is now scheduled to Bhubaneswar on 20th June 2020.
The President of BOS, Shri Mahesh Dash, has expressed his gratitude to all government agencies for the timely help extended to stranded Odias and Shri, Bishnu Prasad Mohanty, General Secretary of BOS, emphasized that BOS has always stood at the forefront to help fellow Odias residing in Bahrain. Both the Executive Committee members extended their best wishes to the fellow Odias who shall be flying out on 20th June 2020 and expressed their satisfaction over the outcome. Meanwhile, the family members of the stranded Odias are having a sigh of relief as their near and dear ones shall be back with them soon.