Sonu Sood arranges chartered flight for 150 migrants
Bollywood actor Sonu Sood is leaving no stone unturned to reduce the plight of migrant workers, a section that has been most severely hit due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and ensuing lockdown restrictions. After feeding and transporting migrant workers stuck in Mumbai, the 46-year-old has now helped more than 150 laborers, stranded in Kerala, reach their home in Odisha. Here are more details.
According to a report in The News Minute, these women were stranded at a textile factory in Kerala's Ernakulam district and had resigned from their jobs in the hope of returning home. With no Shramik trains (the special trains government started to help migrant workers reach home amid travel restrictions) immediately available, they needed rescuing. They were out of money too.
Putting an end to their plight, Sonu arranged a chartered flight. The flight took off from Cochin International Airport for Bhubaneswar in Odisha on Friday morning at around 8 am. The 151 women, who worked at the garment factory, were accompanied on the flight by nine other migrants, who were employed at a wood factory. They reached Odisha at around 10:30 am.
A source close to Sonu told Times of India that the actor was informed about the women's condition by a close friend from Bhubaneswar. "He decided to take charge of the situation and do his best for the girls," the source said. Sonu then took the necessary permission from the government, and a special aircraft was arranged from Bengaluru to airlift the stranded workers.
Notably, Sonu has been relentlessly working to help migrant workers reach home amid the lockdown. He has arranged buses for many people wanting to reach their homes in states like Rajasthan, Karnataka, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The actor also recently launched a toll free helpline number (18001213711), using which migrant workers can reach out to his team for help.
"I will continue sending migrants home until the last migrant reunites with his family and loved ones. This is something really close to my heart and I will give it my all," Sonu said in a statement earlier.
Previously, Sonu reportedly donated 1,500 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits to doctors in Punjab. The actor has also been providing meals to thousands of underprivileged persons in Mumbai and migrant workers residing in the Bhiwandi area. Prior to that, he offered his hotel in Mumbai as a residential facility to doctors and other healthcare workers who are treating COVID-19 patients.
Meanwhile, renowned celebrity chef Vikas Khanna has joined Sonu's team to provide meal kits to those traveling via buses to their hometowns. Announcing the same, Khanna tweeted, "As my brother Sonu Sood is getting hundreds of people home, we are making sure that they are well fed." He said they are working to provide more than seven million meals across the country.
"Some of us are blessed to have food and shelter in these tough times, but there are many who have not had meals in days... I hope I am able to help as many people as possible," Sonu had earlier said about his initiative.