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Vikash Sharma

Rayagada: These are testing times for Odisha students who are stuck in Kota, Rajasthan due to the nation-wide lockdown clamped to contain the spread of COVID-19. Around 13 students from Rayagada district, who are stranded in Kota, took to social media and urged Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for initiating measures for their safe return.

Not only Rayagada, reportedly students from different parts of the State who had gone to Kota for medical exam coaching are also stranded due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

As several States like Maharastra and West Bengal have taken special measures to bring back students of their respective States, students from Rayagada district have appealed the State government and the district Collector for initiating similar measures for their return.

“After a lot of students from other States like UP, Maharastra, Jammu & Kashmir appealed their respective governments, efforts were initiated for their transportation. As COVID-19 cases are increasing in Kota, we are not feeling safe here,” said Monica, a stranded student from Rayagada district.

Monica along with other students has been staying in Kota for the past 9 months. “It is a humble request from all students of Odisha to the State government for our safe return. We have already registered on the dedicated COVID-19 portal, but we have not got any response,” Monica added.

Guardians of one of the stranded students, Pratap Batra informed that "Nearly 13 girls from Rayagada are stuck in Kota. Most of the students returned to their respective States and we are unable to bring our children back. Today, we have urged the district administration and appealed Odisha government to take necessary steps to bring back the students.”

Batra further informed that over 1,000 students from Odisha are stranded in Kota due to the lockdown.
Senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra also urged Chief Minister’s Office to take necessary steps to bring back the stranded Odia students from Kota.

Rayagada Collector, Pramod Behera said, “Parents of six students have brought the matter to our notice that 13 students from the district are stranded in Kota. We will seek Odisha government’s permission as there is restriction on inter-State movement. We will take appropriate measures in this regard.”

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