Miss England pleas for help getting home from India so she can help fight coronavirus battle in her old job as a junior doctor
- Bhasha Mukherjee became stranded when India’s PM imposed a travel ban
- The 24 year old from Derby was on a four-week humanitarian tour of India
- Bhasha said she felt ‘guilty’ hearing about NHS staff working 13-hour shifts
- Now trapped indefinitely, Bhasha said after the ban she ‘felt like a refugee’
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Miss England is pleading with the UK government to help her fly home to Britain so she can help the NHS amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Former nurse turned beauty queen, Bhasha Mukherjee, became trapped in India while doing charity work when the Indian Prime Minister cancelled all flights out the country.
The 24 year old, who worked at Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, Lincolnshire, was on a four-week humanitarian tour of India with the Coventry Mercia Lions.
Said she felt ‘guilty’ hearing about NHS staff working 13-hour shifts and decided to book the first flight home.
Bhasha posing with a copy of Around the World in Eighty Days by French writer Jules Verne
But her 21 March flight out of the country was cancelled as global Covid-19 cases continued to soar and the Prime Minister of India imposed a travel ban.
Bhasha said her plane sat on the tarmac in Delhi for four hours before passengers were told to disembark.
She then traveled to the capital of India’s West Bengal state Kolkata to self-isolate with extended family.
Now, she is begging the UK government to help her return to Britain where she intends to help a beleaguered NHS fight coronavirus.
Bhasha in her ‘scrubs’ while working as a junior doctor, before her humanitarian campaign
‘It was last week that everything started to change very rapidly,’ she said.
‘I started getting emails from work asking me to return. I knew how badly I was needed so I emailed telling them I was willing to come back.’
Bhasha said the new travel ban has made it impossible for her to know when she can return to the UK.
She said it would be ‘really helpful’ if the British government could help British nationals get home.
‘I know this is a global pandemic, but I have no idea how to handle the situation,’ she added.
Bhasha the beauty queen feeling ecstatic as she is crowned Miss England in August last year
The beauty queen was born in India, but moved to Derby with her family when she was nine.
She started her first shift as a junior doctor in August 2019, just hours after being crowned Miss England.
Bhasha flew back to India earlier this month alongside her mum Mita to do charity work with a group that supports several international charities.
But after the travel ban was imposed, the pair were separated when her mother was unable to board the same flight back to Kolkata.
The pair were also due to fly to Pakistan the following week for their next trip.
Stunning in red – Bhasha said she ‘feels like a refugee’ after being trapped in India after the Covid-19 lockdown
‘We were hoping to be out of the country by the end of the day because it would be the last day that we could travel,’ she said.
‘I got on the flight and they started doing the safety checks.
‘I actually fell asleep because it was really early in the morning, but when I woke up an hour had gone by and we were still on the ground,’ she added.
Despite telling passengers the delay was due to a technical fault, airline staff eventually said the plane had been grounded indefinitely.
‘It was such an anxiety provoking situation. I thought how am I going to get home and back to work,’ she said.
‘There were hundreds of people just standing there in the airport with their bags desperately trying to get on a flight and leave. I was just sat on the floor crying.
‘Everyone was crying, desperately trying to get home. I felt like a refugee,’ she added.
Bhasha said she is being forced to self-isolate among family because her 92-year-old grandmother is among people vulnerable to Covid-19.
‘I’m literally stuck in my room feeling completely useless,’ she said.
The Miss England contest has also been postponed due to the global outbreak.
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