Vijayawada, April 14 (IANS) A month-long ordeal of a group of Telugu students finally ended on Tuesday as they finally returned to their native state Andhra Pradesh, after they were evacuated from COVID-19 affected Italy.
The group comprising 33 students had started off for home from Delhi in a bus four days ago, with 28 of them arriving in their home state early Tuesday.
One student got down on the way in his home state Chhattisgarh, whereas four alighted in north Andhra. The remaining 28 reached Vijayawada. Officials noted down their details and handed them over to their parents.
The students belonging to Guntur, Prakasam, Kurnool, Kadapa and Nellore districts left for their homes while those from Krishna district were taken to a government-run hospital in Vijayawada for medical checkup.
The group faced hardships on the way from Delhi due to the lockdown. The bus was stopped in Chhattisgarh for lockdown violation. They were kept in a government school and it was only after the intervention of Andhra Pradesh government and Ministry of Home Affairs that the bus was released and allowed to proceed further.
The group -- including five girls -- was earlier airlifted from Milan and other COVID-19 affected areas of Italy by a special Air India flight and arrived in Delhi on March 15.
They said their immigration formalities were cleared on the runway itself and they were whisked away to the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) camp at Chhawla for 14-day quarantine. However, they spent another fortnight in the camp due to the lockdown.
The students said they were regularly checked and all of them tested negative on March 15 and 29. Thereafter, they hired a bus with their own money and with help from friends. "We had to pay Rs 3 lakh as we were told at the ITBP camp to arrange our own transport to go back home," a student said.