Call for help from India

Appel à l’aide en provenance de l’Inde

Canadians stuck in India implore the government to take the necessary steps to bring them back quickly to the house, insisting on the importance of providing the opportunity to those who are in the region to join the larger centres because transport is currently paralyzed.

Mathilda Lafortune is a 7 hr drive from Delhi, shut up in a hotel in Rishikesh. Even if the canadian government were announced today by sending a plane to arrange for the repatriation, it could likely never reach it.

“We saw people get beat by police officers in the streets, because they were circulated. To get to Delhi, I need a letter from the embassy confirming my flight and police permission to cross the borders between the states and the blockade of the police on the way. I am caught in a trap”, says the young woman, stating that France, Germany and Ukraine were sent by bus to retrieve their nationals in the area in recent days.

“We hope the same thing in Canada,” says the one who claims to have attempted to return to the country after the call of prime minister Trudeau. “It was already too late, the flights were cancelled.”

15 000 Canadians

Ms. Lafortune ensures not be the only one in this situation. In fact, the figure of 15 000 Canadians were stuck in India circulates increasingly in the country, a fact that was not able to confirm us World Affairs Canada.

Issues of the Journal, a spokesperson only replied by a copy-and-paste of the tweets of the minister François-Philippe Champagne, which ensures the “work on the potential options”.

Nothing to reassure Mathilda Lafortune. “Every time I contacted them, all I get are automated messages telling me to wash me hands and cough into my elbow”, quips she.


For the moment, she ensures to have something to eat even if she no longer outside, afraid of “intolerance and panic of the people”. Of indian friends brought him food twice a day, but the shortage could hit quickly.

“I depend totally from the outside. There is no positive outcome if the government does nothing,” she insists.

The young woman has launched a petition to increase pressure on the canadian government and thus facilitate its return, as well as that of other Canadians, in the country. More than 1500 people had already signed in a little over 15 h.

Flights cancelled

Denise Bérubé, a Lévis 65 years of age, is from December to Benaulim, a small village of fishermen of the State of Goa. The one that was initially expected to return to the country on April 1, has seen his return flight to be cancelled. Her husband, Raymond, Verreault, who has returned from a trip in mid-February, is working now to bring home to the country. But the situation is getting complicated day by day due to the containment is quasi-total.

Denise Bérubé, Raymond Verreault

Flights international and domestic, have almost all been cancelled. Even if Canada were to come to an agreement with India to repatriate a canadian citizen, as for the other, nothing says that Ms. Bérubé would reach Mumbai or New Delhi.

Meanwhile, the lady is communicating with her husband via e-mail. Her messages are laced with anxiety, but she still managed to keep his sense of humor in the circumstances.

“I don’t have a lot of food: A box of cereal, 1 litre milk, soy, couscous, 1 melon, 6 oranges, 3 bananas, a few crackers, almonds, 250 gr., coffee, around 14 litres of water, 2 litres of juice. One certainty: I will not take any weight” was amused-it, this week.

In Lévis, Mr. Verreault remains extremely anxious. “When you’re at a distance and that you have no control, it is insecure, describe it. I have days that are in the teeth of a saw.”

–With the collaboration of dr. Taïeb Moalla

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