Free buses, flights take disadvantaged people home for Tết

January 16, 2023 - 09:10
More than 2,000 workers and students in difficult circumstances in southern provinces have been offered free flights and buses to take them home for the Lunar New Year (Tết).

HÀ NỘI — More than 2,000 workers and students in difficult circumstances in southern provinces have been offered free flights and buses to take them home for the Lunar New Year (Tết).

There are only a few days left until the Tết holiday, and many migrant workers and students are looking forward to a joyous Tết with their families after disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students and workers get on the bus to go home for Tết. VNA/VNS Photo Hồng Giang

Waking up early to catch a bus provided by the HCM City - Student Assistance Center (SAC), Linh could not hide her happiness. Last year, due to COVID-19, Linh could not afford a bus ticket to return home.

Linh said: “Due to COVID-19, I could not earn much from my part-time job. My parents are could not help support me with a ticket to get home.

“To save money, I had to stay in the city.”

“When I heard that SAC will help students and migrant workers return home, I registered immediately. And luckily, I received this ticket,” she added.

“This is a big Tết gift for me. I burst into tears because of happiness when I got the ticket. This year, finally, I can celebrate Tết with my parents.”

Sharing the same feeling with Linh, Lê Quang Anh, a freshman from Quảng Ngãi Province, was also very excited at being able to go home for Tết.

Anh said: “I came to HCM City for my first academic year. My parents are farmers so I have to be thrifty. If there is no free bus, I have to do part-time work to get enough money for a ticket.

“I am really happy and really appreciate SAC for this programme.”

Nguyễn Văn Toàn, from Phú Yên City, said: “I sell lottery in this big city, life is getting harder and harder. I didn't even dream of a ticket to get home for Tết.

“I’m really pleased to have this free ticket.”

As part of the “Spring bus – Tết reunion” programme, up to 2,000 free bus tickets with a total cost of VNĐ2 billion have been handed out to share the burden and encourage students and migrant workers, hoping they will have a happy Tết.

Gifts are also handed out to celebrate Tết. VNA/VNS Photo Hồng Giang

Those buses will take students and workers from HCM City to some central provinces and cities.

Lê Xuân Dũng, head of SAC, said: “The Center also introduces part-time jobs in HCM City during the Tết holiday for those who need them.”

Flights of love

Many free flights are also offered for workers from the South to go back home for Tết.

Việt Nam General Confederation of Labour with Vietjet and HD Saigon gave two free flights for disadvantaged workers from HCM City to Nghệ An and Thanh Hóa Provinces. Those flights all departed on January 11, 2023 (December 20 on the Lunar Calendar).

People are joyful to be back home with their families leading up to Tết. VNA/VNS Photo Văn Tý

Dương Danh Hoàng, from the central province of Hà Tĩnh, moved to the South to work in a garment factory. It has been 17 years since he and his family returned home for Tết.

Hoàng said: “This year, the company continued to face difficulties, there were fewer orders this year which meant we earned less. So I didn’t intend to go home for Tết at first.

“But it’s really lucky for us to have a free flight like this so that my daughter and I can be back to celebrate Tết with our grandparents and parents in our hometown.”

A garment worker, Nguyễn Thị Thắng, also got a free flight ticket this year. She hopes there will be more seats for other disadvantaged migrant workers so that they can have an opportunity to reunite with their families.

Thắng said: “I have moved to HCM City to work for 18 years. The job is to afford my mother’s health fees and raise my children.

“I pack up to return home every year, sometimes I go by bus and sometimes I ride my bike. This year, I am blessed to get the ticket. But there are still a lot of disadvantaged workers who can't go home to celebrate Tet. I hope, in the future, there will be more flights like this to bring workers with difficult conditions home to celebrate Tet with their families.”

All passengers of these special flights will also receive meaningful Tết gifts from Vietjet’s flight crews and Provinces’ Labour Confederation.

Chairman of Nghệ An Province's Labour Confederation welcomes workers home for Tết. VNA/VNS Photo Văn Tý

The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has also carried out a free flight bringing over 100 workers from HCM City to Hà Nội for the upcoming Tết holiday.

The carrier also funded travelling costs for them to return to their home villages as well as airfares for return flights to HCM City after Tết.

The passengers on the flight all live in difficult circumstances, have relatives in need of special care, or have not been able to return to their hometowns for Tết for years.

The flight is an effort by Vietnam Airlines to spread humane values for the community and social responsibility that the carrier has been promoting for years. — VNS