Vishanti Coutoncar, who assisted the Government of India’s Vande Bharat Mission in Dubai to repatriate Goans and others during the lockdown, was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by the Consulate General of India (Dubai) in recognition of her selfless service.
Coutoncar, who has been in Dubai for 14 years now, hails from Bastora, Mapusa.
“For the past three-and-a-half months, it has been a challenging, working and coordinating to support our stranded Goans to travel to Goa. As there were no flights to Goa, I requested and coordinated with the Goa Government, Indian Consulate Dubai and Ministry of External Affairs to add flights to Goa. Flights were then added in phase 2, phase 3 and phase 4,” she said.
And it wasn’t only Goans who were helped by Coutoncar, she also coordinated with and helped citizens of other Indian states to travel back. “There were many challenges, continuous calling, and following up for the approvals of the Vande Bharat mission flights. I had to handle the non-stop calls from early morning to past midnight and create an excel sheet of the priority people those who had medical issues, pregnant ladies, senior citizens, and some with no salaries for months,” she added.
She also took the initiative to provide food and medicine and tickets for few Goans who were jobless during the pandemic, and as the word spread a few likeminded people came forward in support. “Special thanks to Goa Chief Minister, Pramod Sawant, NRI commissioner, Narendra Sawaikar and Indian Consulate Dubai, Vipul for all the support and approvals,” she said adding that she would also like to thank her daughter Aalia and husband Nilesh for their support.