BY SUJIT CHAKRABORTY
Silchar (Assam), June 10 (IANS) Bollywood Actor and producer Sonu Sood has again turned into a good samaritan for 180 stranded migrant workers from Assam.
In yet another kind gesture, Sood arranged an Air Asia flight to send 180 Assamese migrants to return home after they were stranded when Cyclone “Nisarga” hit Mumbai last week.
The actor booked an Airbus of the budget airline Air Asia that left from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport to Silchar (southern Assam), Kumbhirgram airport late Tuesday.
“When we contacted Sonu Sood after cyclone Nisarga hit Mumbai and we became stranded at the Mumbai railway station, the kind hearted actor helped us by providing food and shelter for more than a week. He later arranged a flight which took us to Silchar,” 34-year-old Kabir Ahmed told IANS.
Another migrant worker Juber Ahmed (22), said: “We tried to board a Assam bound train, but failed. After we were stranded at Mumbai railway station, we sent a video to the actor and requested him (Sonu Sood) to help us. Some journalists asked us to do so.”
“When the flight left from Mumbai airport for Silchar, Dada (Sonu Sood) was himself present at the airport to bid us adieu,” Juber said.
The 180 migrants, including four women and a child of southern Assam and Hojai (in central Assam) were working in different hotels, restaurants, private security organisation in Pune and during the lockdown they had reached Mumbai to board a train to return to Assam.
Kabir said: “When we lost jobs a few weeks after the lockdown began, we had to stay day and night under the flyover, in front of the hospitals, malls and even at footpath and under the trees. We could not manage food on most days before the actor started providing us food and shelter since June 2.”
Soon after the return of the 180 migrant workers to Silchar, the health and district administration officials took their samples for COVID-19 and sent them to the institutional quarantine center at different places.
Sonu Sood had earlier arranged to send several hundred stranded migrant workers to their homes from different parts of the country.
(Sujit Chakraborty can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)