Many Afghan Students in India Stranded Due to Coronavirus Lockdown and High Costs

Dozens of Afghan students studying at private universities and institutes in Kota, a city in western India, are stranded due to the lockdown imposed by the government to curb the spread of Coronavirus. Some were unable to book seats on the limited flights while a few have also been unable to leave due to financial circumstances, reports the Hindustan Times.

While the the Afghan embassy in India is organising special flights for its citizens, the point of departure is Delhi. Foreigners in India do not have the identification document required to board the special trains running during the lockdown. “We approached the district administration of Kota for facilitating our return to Afghanistan… we cannot travel to Delhi [by train]… So, the administration told us to go to Delhi through car or taxi,” a student from Kabul told Hindustan Times. Students unable to afford the high cab fares due to financial issues and bank closures in Afghanistan, are forced to stay in India.

Students are also reluctant to go home as they would have to come back to Kota to continue their studies once their colleges reopen.

The Afghan embassy’s official portal says special flights are booked completely for May 21 and 23. They are trying to arrange additional flights in the first week of June.

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