Happy homecoming for 27 kids, 6 parents from Raigad
Group from Kota reached Panvel in a private bus arranged by district authorities on Wednesday morning, none show symptoms of novel Coronavirus
Early on Wednesday morning, 27 students and six parents from Raigad district, who were among the 2,000 Maharashtra residents stranded in Kota, Rajasthan, arrived at the Gram Vikas Bhavan in Kharghar in a special private bus arranged by the district administration.
Fifteen of the students are from Panvel, three from Karjat, three from Pen, one from Pune, two from Thane and five from Alibaug, among others. They had enrolled at coaching institutes to prepare for NIIT, IIT and medical entrance exams.
According to the students, who are now in home-quarantine, exams were scheduled for April first week. For medical students, they were scheduled in the first week of May. Both exams have been postponed amid the Coronavirus lockdown.
The returnees inside the private bus
"Around 2 lakh students were staying in hostels and studying at a single institute in Kota. While most states have taken their students back, around 6,000 from Jharkhand and Bihar are still stranded," said Gauri Mayekar, a student from Alibaug who aspires to study medicine.
"I enrolled at my institute last April to prepare for my medical entrance examination. I had scored 78 per cent in PCMB (physics, chemistry, maths, biology) during HSC. My mother joined me in January and we were to return in March. We had to extend our stay due to the lockdown," Mayekar added.
Some parents from Raigad had approached the district's Guardian Minister Aditi Tatkare to help bring their kids back. Tatkare wrote to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar. District Collector Nidhi Choudhary spoke to her counterpart in Kota and special permissions were issued to allow the bunch to travel in a specially arranged bus.
Another student Gaurav Maurya, 18, a resident of Pen, said that his common entrance exam for NIIT, which was to begin in April first week, has been postponed.
"I had got a scholarship and joined a well-known private institute in Kota. My parents had paid R56,000 for the whole term. My initial plan was to appear for the exam in Kota and then return home. But now I have asked for the centre to be shifted somewhere near my home," Gaurav said.
Amit Sanap, tehsildar, Panvel said, "We arranged for the students and parents to get a medical checkup at Gram Vikas Bhavan, Kharghar. Sub-district hospital doctors checked the students' temperature at the entrance. None of the arrivals showed symptoms of novel Coronavirus. Each of them was stamped for the 14-day home quarantine. All were happy to be home after being stuck in Kota since the lockdown."
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