Fil-Indian group spearheads special flight between New Delhi and Manila, aids stranded Filipinos, Indians
Dubbed as “Special Flight Helpline,” the Delhi-Manila-Delhi round trip flight was organized by the Filipino Indian Commerce and Welfare Society, Inc. (FICWSI) in collaboration with the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), through the respective organizations’ Presidents Manjinder “James” Kumar and Arsenio “Boy” Evangelista, as a response to desperate calls for help by stranded and distressed Filipinos and Indians in India and in the Philippines. The Embassy of India Manila, led by Ambassador, H.E. Shambhu S. Kumaran, alongside Santosh Kumar Mishra, Second Secretary (Consular), extended full support to the humanitarian intent of Kumar and Evangelista. The OWFs flown back home, free of charge, felt much relief and were grateful for their answered prayers. Fireman Second Class Machinery Repairman Joemari Bag-o of the Philippine Navy finally flew home after over three months of being stranded in India. He was one of the injured sailors of BRP Ramon Alcaraz when a fire broke out from its main engine room on May 7, this year. BRP Ramon Alcaraz was the companion ship of BRP Davao Del Sur on a voyage back to the Philippines with Filipino repatriates and 200,000 pieces of donated face masks when the fire incident happened. Bag-o, who suffered second degree burns, stayed over a month in a burn treatment facility at the Sanjivani Naval Hospital in INS Southern Naval Command for medical treatment. For almost two months, he eagerly prayed for a chance to come home. Cecilio Godito, an OFW who used to work as a dance instructor in India, also flew home, free of charge. Before the pandemic, he underwent some surgeries. Due to his health condition, he lost his job and the surgeries drained his savings. Stranded for over five months, he was able to pull through with the help of his former students and fellow Filipinos.
Kumar, Evangelista, and the Embassy Of India Manila expressed their utmost gratitude to the kind accommodation and prompt assistance of various Philippine government agencies in making this Special Flight Helpline possible: the Department of Foreign Affairs; Philippine Embassy in India, led by its Ambassador, H.E. Ramon S. Bagatsing, Jr.; Bureau of Immigration, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, and the Manila International Airport Authority.
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