Chennai: Thanks to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Eadppadi K Palaniswami taking up through the Indian External Affairs Ministry to press the Government of Iran to make arrangements to send a large number of fishermen from Tamil Nadu stranded there in the wake of the Covid-19 novel coronavirus pandemic, a chartered ship with 673 Indian fishermen bound for Tamil Nadu is all set to leave the shores of Iran on Thursday.
The State Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said in a statement here that due to the cancellation of all International flights since the outbreak of Covid-19, it was difficult to immediately bring back all the stranded Tamil Nadu fishermen in Iran, in other countries and from other coastal States.
Jayakumar said the situation was being gradually eased and with Palaniswami writing to MEA about the fishermen from Tamil Nadu stranded in Iran, the Indian Embassy officials in Iran took all the necessary steps to facilitate their return home including undergoing COVID-19 tests there, ensuring their daily necessities and their travel papers.
As a result of these efforts, Jayakumar said a chartered ship exclusively for fishermen from Tamil Nadu stranded in Iran is slated to leave from their shores on Thursday and would soon reach Thoothukudi port in our State.
Meanwhile, Justin Antony, President of the International Fishermen Development Trust said in a statement from Kanniyakumari that six fishermen from Vallavilai and Colachel fishing villages in the district, who were also stranded in Iran due to passport issues, have now informed Antony that due to the State and Central government's action, the Indian Embassy in Iran has ensured that the six got their passports today from their employer in Iran. The six fishermen are: Amarsan, John Gadin, Ansari, Maria Kimslin, John Kennedy, and Risin Mon.