Jalandhar: Lovely Professional University (LPU) has one of the largest numbers of international students studying in India. Though the university is closed; however, because of the lockdown, many of the international and national students have not been able to go back to their respective home state or country. As a unique initiative, LPU coordinated with Government of Sri-Lanka, External Affairs Ministry of India and Sri-Lankan Embassy in India to fly 101 of its students in special chartered flight to Sri-Lanka. In this regard, a batch of these Sri-Lankan students was sent from Sri Guru Ram Das Ji International Airport at Amritsar in Punjab on 23rd April 2020, after necessary health screening.
Sri-Lankan students left LPU Campus for Amritsar Airport at 4:30 am in three special buses, as per Corona pandemic directives observance. At Amritsar, students boarded the specially chartered Sri-Lankan Airlines’ flight for their native land Sri-Lanka. During the complete process, social distancing was maintained and students were screened on various health parameters by the medical specialists at the LPU Campus, as well as by the Health Department of the Punjab Government.
Head Division of International Affairs at LPU, Mr Aman Mittal informs: “We had been in touch with Government of Sri Lanka and Sri-Lankan Embassy in New Delhi for many weeks to transit Sri-Lankan students back to their home country. In this context, we had written a request letter to Hon’ble President of Sri-Lanka, Shri Gotabaya Rajapaksha, to which he kindly acceded. In fact, LPU has the good number of Sri-Lankan students; however, due to the lockdown these as well many other far-off national and international students could not be able to go back to their respective state or country. India had closed down all the roads and the international air border, thereby cancelling all rail-road transportation and the flights. We are now happy and feel indebted to the Government of Sri-Lanka for this initiative to help out our students. We are also thankful to the Government of India, Punjab State and Local authorities those have played a crucial role in providing the relevant support.”