Bhubaneswar, (Asian independent) Over 5.43 lakh migrants have returned to Odisha so far amid the COVID-19 pandemic, said an official on Sunday.
A total of 4,968 people returned to the state on Sunday. So far, 5,43,905 Odias have returned to the state, the official said.
As many as 215 Odias stranded in UAE due to the coronavirus pandemic reached Bhubaneswar in a chartered flight on Sunday.
The Air Arabia flight carrying 215 migrants took off from Sharjah International Airport and landed at Biju Patnaik International Airport here.
The migrants onboard were overwhelmed when they were greeted by a woman pilot in Odia language on the auspicious occasion of Raja festival.
Capt Madhusmita Pattnaik, an Odia pilot working with Air Arabia, operated the special chartered flight carrying the stranded Odias from Sharjah to Bhubaneswar.
Madhusmita expressed happiness for getting this opportunity to fly Odias stranded in the UAE home on the occasion of Raja festival.
“I am very happy that I reached my birthplace along with other Odia people. It happened due to the blessings of Lord Jagannath,” she said in a video message.
The flight was arranged by the Odia Society in UAE.
“History was created today, the first ever announcement by a flight commandment in #Odia language in an international flight. #AirArabia G9 645 will reach Bhubaneswar airport at 1.30 pm India time with 215 Odias on board. Mahaprabhu, take them home safe,” tweeted Dr Chandrasekhar Khuntia of the Odia Society in UAE.