When the news of women labourers stuck in Kerala reached actor Sonu Sood, who has been hailed for providing buses for migrant workers stranded due to the coronavirus lockdown, he immediately swung into action.
Stuck in Kerala’s Ernakulam, 167 women, engaged in stitching and embroidery work at a local factory were seeking to return to their homes in Odisha. They had nowhere to go after the factory was shut down in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I came to know about them, connected with them through social media…My friend Neeti Goel and I reached out to them. We knew the only way was to fly them out,” Sonu Sood told a news channel.
Another hurdle was that most airports were shut for passenger movement, but he arranged for permissions from the government and had Kochi and Bhubaneswar airports opened.
On Friday morning, Sood made arrangements for an aircraft to fly from Bengaluru to Kochi at 8 am to airlift the 167 workers. This Air Asia flight will take them to Bhubaneshwar and from there, they will be transported to their homes in Kendrapara.
By reaching out to migrants, Sood has also become a hero off-screen and has received praise from Bollywood actors and political leaders alike.
Recently, the governor of Maharashtra lauded his efforts as did Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh. Incidentally, Sood, who is now based in Mumbai, hails from Moga in Punjab.