Thiruvananthapuram : The first batch of 44 nurses from Kerala, who left strife-torn Libya on Friday, will be arriving at Kochi International Airport on Tuesday.

The nurses who reached Tunis by road from Tripoli on Friday were brought to Dubai on Monday and will be flown to Kochi by Emirates flight on Tuesday morning, according to a senior official of the Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (Norka) department.

The nurses will be received by ministers and senior officials on their arrival at the airport at 8.55 am. Norka has set up a help desk to provide any assistance the nurses and their family member require. The nurses will be given Rs.2000 each to meet the expenses towards their onward journey. The government of India is bearing the cost of the air ticket from Tunis to Cochin, said K Mohandas, secretary of the Kottayam-based Libyan Nurses’ Parents Association. He said majority of the nurses were returning penniless.

Mohandas said the association would submit a memorandum to the state government soon for including the nurses from Libya in the rehabilitation package being devised for the nurses who have returned from Iraq in distress conditions.

Several hospitals in India and abroad have come forward to provide jobs to nearly 350 nurses, who returned in the last one month.

Norka has called a meeting of all the nurses at here on August 6 to determine the eligibility of the nurses for employment in different hospitals.

About 650 nurses are expected to return from Libya.

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