By SARAH MWANZA –
ZAMBIAN High Commissioner to India Judith Kapijimpanga has bemoaned the high number of Zambian students who are stranded in India due to lack of return tickets.
Ms Kapijimpanga noted that there were a number of students on self sponsored scholarships who were stranded in India for failure by their parents or sponsors to send them return tickets.
She said most of these students had resorted to engaging in illicit activities such as drug trafficking and abuse and prostitution as a means of survival.
Ms Kapijimpanga said in an interview that the commission had tried to help them get in touch with their parents but to no avail because they provide wrong contact details.
“As the commission, we are concerned with the increasing number of students who are stranded here in India after completion of their studies due to lack of return tickets.
“Some of the students have started engaging in activities that are bringing shame to our country. I have a number of them who are in police custody for drug trafficking and some of them are even in mental hospitals for drug abuse,” she said.
Ms Kapijimpanga appealed to parents who sent their children to school in India to follow up with them and ensure that they returned home as soon as they completed their studies.
She further assured the nation that students on Government sponsored scholarships were well taken care of and were doing very well with their studies.
“I would like to appeal to parents who send their children for studies on self sponsored to ensure that they also give them return tickets so that as soon as they are done with studies, they came go back home.
“As Government we cannot afford to sponsor all of them, we have tried to contact their parents but we have been unable to on most occasions because they give wrong information and they do not even have documents,” Ms Kapijimpanga said.