International students stranded in Colorado due to COVID-19

Posted at 7:59 PM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 22:19:07-04

DENVER -- Amol Sawant came to Denver in August of last year to complete a culinary internship at the Crowne Plaza downtown.

“I was a line cook over there in training,” Sawant said.

But his education in the culinary arts was cut short when COVID-19 shut down the hotel and his internship. His termination also left him with few options.

“I’m feeling like, helpless, you know? I have to be patient and I have to complete my internship. It's a need for my studies,” Sawant said.

He started reaching out for help

“I contacted the Indian Embassy,” Sawant said.

They got him in touch with the Houston consulate who got him in touch with Sewa International, a Hindu faith-based humanitarian nonprofit.

“They help us with the groceries. They were helping us with other needs and they we're helping us with rent,” Sawant said.

Because going back to his home in India wasn't an option.

“India is on strict lockdown. No international flights,” Sawant said.

But he's not the only student stuck here. Sewa is helping a number of other students who also found themselves in similar straits.

“Whatever we can do, we are helping them out, but these are some tough problems,” Sewa International’s Shardul Takalkar said.

But for Amol, he has about five months left on his internship and he's already paid.

“I just hope that I can join again and complete my internship,” Sawant said.

If and when that happens is anyone's guess. He's just grateful he’s got others on his side.