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Actor Mammootty.

Malayalam superstar Mammootty has undertaken a mission to provide 1000 free air tickets for the Indian expatriates waiting to be repatriated through special Air India flights from the Gulf.

Mr John Brittas, the Managing Director of Kairali television, said Mammootty, the Chairman of the channel, will lead the campaign to extend support to the eligible. Each ticket costs around 15,000.

“The expatriates are the backbone of the country and it is our time to payback,” the star was quoted as saying in an interview.

Meanwhile, Brittas, the MD of Kairali Channel, says the channel’s humanitarian effort to help the stranded migrant workers is now entering the second phase by providing free tickets to stranded expatriate workers.

“We will provide tickets to more expatriates to reach home,” said Mr Brittas. “We are getting good response from the business and professional community in the Gulf. We are expecting to cross our targets.”

The channel constitutes a panel to select the beneficiaries. The panel includes OV Mustafa, a leading businessman in Dubai and a director of Norka Roots, VK Ashraf, an industrialist based in the UAE, EM Ashraf, chief of Kairali TV’s Middle East operations, S. Ramesh and Mohammed Faiz.

Tribute to the nurses

The Indian state of Kerala paid glowing tributes to the selfless service rendered by nurses across the globe.

Kerala nurses are found in huge numbers in the West, East, the Middle East, Down Under and several other countries, for many years.

It was in January 1974, May 12 was chosen to celebrate the day as it is the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing and since then, not a year has passed without anyone remembering the yeoman service Kerala nurses have rendered.

And during Covid-19 crisis, the role played by Kerala nurses, in these countries and not to mention in India, has become the cynosure of all eyes.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on the forefront of the war world is fighting against the invisible enemy is the nurses.

“By now we have heard the role played by our Kerala nurses across the world. Full credit to their deep commitment and they are doing this service to the humanity, even while risking their own lives. It’s this commitment and dedication that is our strength,” said Vijayan.

“On this day we fondly remember our own nurse — Lini, who lost her life after tackling many patients affected with Nipah. This day we all feel so proud of our own nurses and all of us should be deeply indebted to them,” added Vijayan.

According to figures every year around 25,000 new nurses pass out from Kerala and the neighbouring states.

Studies done on the Kerala diaspora by the Centre for Development Studies, here, over the years reveal that 15 per cent of the migrants (above 23 lakhs) from Kerala are women, of which a huge majority are nurses.

The total remittances of non-resident Keralites are around Rs 90,000 crore.

The study also points out that with regard to remittances also the pattern is the same and 20 per cent of the annual remittances is made by women and here again it is the nurses which contribute the maximum.

State Health Minister K.K. Shailaja said the only reason why our own nurses have huge respect all over the world is because of their proven ability and selfless service and this has been proven again as the world battles Covid-19.

“These services by nurses will never ever be forgotten by anyone. Such is the dedication and commitment. During Covid times by now their role has become the cynosure of all eyes, as they take care of patients, risking their own lives. Full kudos to each and every one of them,” said Shailaja.

Reshma Mohandas, a senior nurse at the state run Kottayam Medical College hospital who treated the country’s oldest coronavirus patient at her ward – included a 93-year-old and his 88-year-old wife, but she turned positive.

“It was the support of my husband and my colleagues that I could face the hardships as a Covid-19 patient with a smile. Now our ward has no positive cases and if there are going to be, I will again return to take care of them,” said Mohandas.

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