After arranging buses and food for thousands of stranded migrants, Sonu Sood has now airlifted 177 workers stuck in Kerala amid the coronavirus lockdown. The actor arranged a special chartered flight for women who had been left stranded in the state's Ernakulam district, helping them return to Odisha.
The 177 women had been employed at a factory in Kochi, doing stitching and embroidery work. They were left without anywhere to go after the factory closed down due to restrictions imposed by the ongoing lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19. Mr Sood, who has already helped thousands of stranded migrant workers reach their hometowns in buses, arranged a special aircraft for the stranded women after getting to know about their plight from a close friend in Bhubaneswar.
The actor started the process by obtaining necessary permits from the government to have the Kochi and Bhubaneswar airports opened. A special aircraft was called from Bengaluru to airlift the 177 women, who were then flown to Bhubaneswar in a two-hour journey to be reunited with their families.
Mr Sood's initiative was acknowledged by Rajya Sabha MP Amar Patnaik who took to Twitter on Friday to praise the actor. "Sonu Sood ji, your helping the Odia girls to return safely from Kerala is commendable. Kudos to your noble efforts. It's incredible to see how you are helping the needy reach their homes safely. More strength to you!" he wrote.
@SonuSood Ji,your helping the Odia girls to return safely from Kerala is commendable. Kudos to your noble efforts. It's incredible to see how you are helping the needy reach their homes safely. More strength to you!@Naveen_Odisha@CMO_Odisha@bjd_odishahttps://t.co/6VqSExCEQ5— Dr. Amar Patnaik (@Amar4Odisha) May 29, 2020
The Simmba actor was also praised by many others on the microblogging platform. Several Twitter users thanked him for arranging the chartered flight, while others hailed him a hero for his work during the lockdown, where thousands of migrant workers have been left without jobs, money or means to travel back home.
Sonu Sood Arranges chartered flight to send 150 women labourers to odisha from kerala.— Deeksha Negi(दीक्षा नेगी)...????????जय हिन्द (@DeekshaNegi14) May 29, 2020
This man is doing some seriously good stuff. Not the hero we deserve but the hero we need...???????? pic.twitter.com/sR2s1fKFqZ
@SonuSood Thank You So Much Bollywood actor Sonu Soodji, who is playing a pivotal role in sending migrants to their native places, have also helped Odia women migrants. as many as 169 young women from Odisha stranded in Kerala will reach Odisha in a special flight.#RealHeropic.twitter.com/mjkhgR1FQn— Debendra Subudhi (@DebendraSubudh1) May 29, 2020
Mr Sood had earlier spoken to ANI about his coronavirus relief efforts. "I was deeply saddened to see them walking with their little children on foot. These are the people who built our houses, our offices, they have laid the roads and I feel that we should not leave them in such distress," Mr Sood said while explaining the reason that drove him to take up the initiative of helping them return home.