44 nurses return to Kerala from Libya

44 nurses return to Kerala from Libya

The first batch of nurses from strife-torn Libya arrived in Kochi on Tuesday, with more of them expected to return to their native state in the next few days.

The 44 nurses, travelling to Kochi by Emirates flight from Dubai, landed at 8:30 am. They are part of a batch of 58 nurses who were brought to Tunisia from Tripoli on Friday and subsequently taken to Dubai on Monday.

Three nurses have boarded a flight to Delhi, while the others are set to arrive in Kochi on Wednesday. At the Nedumbassery airport, the nurses told reporters that most of their salaries were due, with some of them not having received any remuneration for over four months.

Many nurses decided to stay back to collect pending salaries despite the conflict in Libya. They were employed at the Tripoli Medical Centre and other hospitals in the strife-torn country. Some of the nurses pointed out the difficulties in exchanging the Libyan Dinar for Rupees in India.

P Sudeep, CEO of Non Resident Keralite Affairs-ROOTS, the NORKA department’s field agency, told reporters that efforts were on to bring back the rest of the nurses in a special aircraft from Tunis and Malta. 

About 120 nurses in Libya had expressed willingness to return to India, according to officials in the NORKA department. On July 5, 46 nurses had arrived in Kochi from conflict zones in Iraq after having been held captive by ISIS rebels.

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