60 Indian engineers in Wuhan keen on returning home

Hyderabad/Tirupati: About 60 fresh graduates from India, all picked up by a Chinese manufacturing company during campus placements last year, have been living in the city of Wuhan, the epicentre of Coronavirus outbreak, for the past few months. Of these, at least 45 are engineers from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, all of whom are now looking to return to India at the earliest. Speaking to TOI over IMO, a Chinese messenger app, many of them said they are being monitored daily by a team of local doctors and are not allowed to leave their residence except for food as the city is in lockdown. They said they are looked after well by the company. “We were picked up by China Star Apto Electornics Technology Limited, headquartered at Shenzhen last year. About 15 others are from other states like Delhi and Uttar Pradesh who were studying in universities in the southern states,” said one of the engineers from from Kandukuru area of Prakasham district of Andhra Pradesh. The company is setting up unit near Renigunta airport in Tirupati. The engineers are all in their early 20’s and were taken as quality, manufacturing, process engineers. A few have also joined the human resource department. After being recruited in August last year, they were taken to Wuhan for training three months later. “We were supposed to return by February 15 but would like to return earlier now. So far all of us are healthy,” said another engineer who hails from Tirupati. “Our management and most other employees have gone on leave as the Chinese New Year holidays are on. We are under supervision of some team heads,” said another engineer. We hardly see any movement on roads here. Although we are not scared, we do want to come back,” he added. Worried parents of the youngsters too are hoping to see their kids back early. “Our children are safe, but it is better they return soon. My son told me that the company has put up a request with the Indian embassy there for their early return,” said K Ramesh from Kandkuru, father of one of the engineers. The Andhra Pradesh government too is in contact with Chinese officials to reach out to the employees. Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation chairperson and Nagari legislator R K Roja said they were looking to bring back all the people in Wuhan on one flight. “I have received messages from parents and family members of the employees, requesting to bring back their children,” she said. “The employees are in Wuhan due to cancellation of flights. I have raised the issue with chief minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and MP V Vijayasai Reddy, who directed the officials concerned to make arrangements to bring back the employees.”

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