Assam Govt to Provide Financial Aid to State Residents Stranded Abroad
The state government has decided to provide assistance to Assam residents who are stranded abroad and are unable to return to their home state due to the global shutdown as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. The government has decided to transfer $2,000 to all such residents.
“Such people can seek assistance from the state government by sending their details via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by tweeting to the Assam finance department’s twitter handle @AssamFinDept,” announced the health and family welfare minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma.
He added that an amount of $2,000 will be transferred to their accounts if they went abroad in the last 30 days according to the date of stamping in their passports.
The financial assistance is not for NRIs or people who have been working or studying for a substantial period of time and have houses or hostels to stay in. Instead, it is for tourists and people who went for training, workshops or seminars and short-term assignments.
Sarma added that $2000 is an initial amount and if people remain stranded for a longer period of time, the government will deal with the situation accordingly. Additionally, the state government will help the stranded people in case their visa or passports expire.
“People from Assam whose visas and passports have expired and people are stuck outside, they too can notify the government on the email id and the concerned Indian embassy in the country will be notified,” stated the minister.
Further, there are many people from Assam who are stranded in other parts of the country.
In the wake of the country-wide lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the state government has directed the Assam Bhawans of various states to provide aid to people from Assam who have been stranded in different parts of the country.
This was announced after reports came in of pilgrims and tourists from all parts of Assam stranded at Anand vihar railway station of Delhi. With residents of the state unable to get back home, the Sarbananda Sonowal-led government decided to help them survive in distant lands.
At present, there are five Assam Bhawans/Houses in the country (Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Shillong).
Chief secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna, while addressing the media on March 25, said that those who are stuck outside the state can contact Assam Bhawan authorities who would help to arrange hotels and other accommodation for them.
Although the state of Assam has so far been marked safe from the pandemic with zero positive cases, the state has gone in to lockdown to combat the virus. The state borders have been sealed, passenger trains have been cancelled, international flights have been cancelled and so has the inter-state bus services.