A British mother stranded in India fears her children will go hungry during the country’s strict

A British mother stranded in India fears her children will go hungry during the country’s strict coronavirus lockdown as they plead with authorities to fly them home.

Gabrielle Marshall, her husband and their four children have been living in Patnem, Goa, for six months after taking them out of school for a year.

But after President Narendra Modi banned people from leaving their homes with just four hours’ notice on March 23 and grounded all domestic and international flights, they are running out food and clean water and are desperate to get back to the UK.

Mrs Marshall told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘This past week has been incredibly stressful.

I’m extremely anxious, not sleeping.’

She claimed that police are beating people for being outside and the few supermarkets still open are mobbed with crowds of people with no social distancing. 

The mother-of-four is terrified of her family catching the virus and fears the death toll could be worse than Italy.

She told : ‘Currently migrant workers are walking home via state highways and the virus will inevitably spread fast [given] the crowds gathering to collect food.

‘Hunger is more pressing compared to the fear of the virus for many.

We need to be repatriated, and urgently, while we still have a window.’

The Marshall family originally planned to travel north to see other parts of India, but now they just want to go home.

She told the Today programme: ‘It’s the concern of getting food.

Initially we were told we could get food from shops, but now the shops are closed.

‘There were reports of police beating people for being outside.

‘The food is beginning to get through after getting stuck at the border, but we’re scared to go out and get it over fears of police brutality.

‘When you do go to large shops, you’ve got 60 people outside one shop with very little sign of social distancing, which is a really worry in terms of health.’

Police are pictured wearing facemasks in Goa, where British mother Gabrielle Marshall is stuck with her family

Police are pictured wearing facemasks in Goa, where British mother Gabrielle Marshall is stuck with her family 

Crowds are pictured inside Goa Airport in south India on March 15 before the country was put on lockdown with just four hours' notice

Crowds are pictured inside Goa Airport in south India on March 15 before the country was put on lockdown with just four hours’ notice 

She added that clean drinking water is becoming very scarce, saying bottles in shops are almost impossible to find and they are unable to filter tap water properly.  

There are 1,251 reported cases of coronavirus in India and 32 deaths from the infection.

But with reporting difficulties and migrant workers spreading the virus from urban areas to more rural parts, the actual figures are believed to be much higher. 

Mrs Marshall said: ‘If you look at what’s happening in Italy, with a population over 1.3billion, the numbers here are going to be more like 1million.

‘Our concerns really are health – if we get sick – How many beaches are in south Goa are we going to get help, with such a low ratio of doctors to people.’

Their other worry is how they’re going to get back to the UK.

She added: ‘They [Foreign and Commonwealth Office] have been saying for two weeks now that they’re working on it.

‘What the hell does ‘working on it mean’.

Why is there this problem with picking up the British people?

British tourist Kate Fielder (pictured on Good Morning Britain via video link on Tuesday) is also stranded in Goa

British tourist Kate Fielder (pictured on Good Morning Britain via video link on Tuesday) is also stranded in Goa 

‘I have friends that left on the German flight, next it’s the Poles. 

‘It would be really helpful for our state of mind to know what they’re doing and when they’re going to do it.  

‘I know of four people who think they might have the virus in this area.

‘There’s no testing.

The numbers are just going to get bigger and bigger. 

‘Getting enough food is not a problem the west have to deal with. Yes they have coronavirus but they don’t have to worry about starvation.

‘We have a humanitarian crisis on our doorstep. The British Government benefited hugely from the Raj financially and needs to start paying India back.’

There are thousands of Britons currently stranded abroad amid the global coronavirus crisis.

Kate Fielder is also stuck in Goa and told Good Morning Britain today: ‘The Russians, the Poles, the Germans, the Italians and the Israelis ahve all been repatriated.

‘All the meanwhile, I’ve just heard a load of nonsense about what Dominic Raab is going to.

But the reality is I’m still stuck here.’   

FCO advice to those stuck in India reads: ‘We are working with the Indian authorities and airlines to support British nationals who want to leave India and return to the UK.

‘To support this we need to collect information on British nationals currently in India to advise when commercial flights to the UK become available.’ 

Yesterday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab unveiled a massive £75million repatriation plan to bring home ‘tens of thousands’ of Britons stranded abroad.

He said the UK government will now step in to provide ‘special charter flights’ from parts of the world where commercial flights are no longer in operation. 

The government has struck a partnership deal with British Airways, Easyjet, Jet2 and other airlines to provide the planes for the effort, he added. 

Speaking at the government’s daily coronavirus press conference at 10 Downing Street yesterday, Mr Raab said: ‘Under the arrangements that we are putting in place we will target flights from a range of priority countries, starting this week.’ 

But Mr Raab said in countries where commercial flights are still in operation, the instruction is still for Britons to buy tickets home ‘as soon as possible’.  

‘Where commercial routes remain an option, airlines will be responsible for getting passengers home,’ he said.  

‘That means offering alternative flights at little to no cost where routes have been cancelled.’  


5 things you shouldn’t do to get a beach body this summer

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Instead of trying potentially harmful trends, try exercising and eating a healthy diet. 

Getty Images

One of the things I love most about being a wellness writer is exposing and dismantling the lies and harmful narratives the industry tries to sell us. (PSA: Your favorite supplement might be worthless.)

One of my favorite lies to bulldoze is the one that says you have to go through a series of ridiculous activities to get a “beach body.” It’s rooted in a much deeper lie about the way bodies should look — but that’s another story for another day. 

Here, I’m covering everything you shouldn’t do to get a beach body this summer (or, like, ever) no matter how hard your Instagram feed tries to sell you on these harmful trends. 

1. Wear a waist trainer

Waist trainers are so harmful in more ways than one. Anyone who consciously decides to wear a waist trainer for reasons that aren’t explicitly cultural or spiritual is almost undoubtedly dealing with the emotional consequences imparted by wellness culture. 

Swaying palms, white sands and sparkling waters: the three essential elements of Colva beach. | Source
The shore is rich with coconut palms. An ideal place to relax. | Source
An impressive view of the Colva Beach | Source
This board gives you the distance chart to other popular attractions in Goa. This snap was taken from Colva. Buses and Taxis start service from here to take you to tourist spots.
The vast stretch of white sand….. | Source
This is a cottage for tourists owned by Goa Tourism Department. | Source

Some useful information

Goa Tourism Site: 1) website class=””>2) website class=””>Important Phone Nos.

Konkan Railway

Madgaon 2712790-91 (STD Code 08342)

Vasco 2501223/2512398 (STD 08345)

Canacona 2643395 (STD: 08346)


KTC 2438034-37

KSRTC 2438256

MSRTC 2438253


Indian Airlines: Airport – 2542444-46

Jet Airways: Airport – 2542025-26

Why Colva so popular

Colva is undoubtedly one of the most popular beach destinations in Goa. Why? Several reasons can be attributed for this love. But I must inform you that it is more famous among the local (read Indian) tourists. International tourists are less in number here. In fact, Colva is not an expensive or exotic location like other beaches in Goa or elsewhere in the world tourism map. There are plenty of mid-range hotels here. Truly speaking, Colva is a paradise for a budget-traveler for it has such a concentration of the budget hotels. Their tariffs are very attractive. Also, when it comes to reachability, Colva is a fine spot. It is easy and affordable, and I think that must be the reason why the local or the Indian tourists rush to this beach. From Madgaon railway station what it takes is just 6 km, which can easily be managed within 15 to 20 minutes time gap. You can catch a taxi easily from the railway station and reach Colva Beach quickly. And on taxi service, Goa has a special feature. It is the two-wheeler (Bike) taxi service here. If you are alone, you can hire either a bike-taxi or get a bike on rent. Luckily, it is not at all expensive and rather convenient too. As Goa is a popular tourist place, the drivers here follow most of the Indian languages and English, though their mother tongue is Konkani. Marati, Hindi and English are the other languages they effortlessly use.

The other advantage being stationed at Colva is the easy accessibility to other popular tourist spots in Goa. Several tourist operators conduct sightseeing trips from Colva to different locations in the state. Their service starts around 9.30 in the morning and concludes by 7.30 in the evening. You will be happy in knowing that just for a charge of Rs. 200/- (roughly between 3 to 4 $), they take you to either South Goa or North Goa as you opt for. You can book your ticket either from Colmar Beach Resort or from Colva Residency. It is better you opt your journey from Colva Residency since it is run by Goa Government. They arrange sightseeing in AC buses just for Rs.300/-. When the South trip has a historical and divine elements for it covers some famous historical places, churches and Temples, the North Goa trip is exclusively for beaches and fun. Each trip takes a full day and the charge is same. To know and feel Goa, you must utilize both trips by staying two days in Colva. One day let it be the South and the other day the North or vice versa. But again I must remind you that the pleasure of Goa doesn’t just end there. It is up to you to explore and enjoy more.

Goa – Basic Facts

Capital: Panaji (Panjim)

Area; 3702 sq km.

Neighboring states: Karnataka & Maharashtra

No. of Districts: 2 (North & South)

Chief Languages: Konkani & Marathi (English & Hindi also spoken)

Major Religions: Hinduism & Christianity (5% Muslims)

Main Towns: Panaji (Panjim), Margao (Madgaon), Vasco, Mapusa & Ponda

Watch this video to feel Colva Beach

Attractions in Colva

Though Colva is a popular beach, don’t expect this to be the best. Actually, it is a coastal village. Still, Colva has its unique features. The coconut palms lined along the shore gives it a picture perfect look. The powder white sand is another temptation for a beach lover. The calm and quite costal village of Colva is a relief from the maddening crowd of a city life. Again strolling through the villages around, you may be astonished on the charm of the homes reflecting the colonial architectural excellence. The Portuguese ruling though ended some fifty years before, it is still felt here in many ways. What the plus point of Goa is that that the place has more stunning beaches in the north side. The Palolem, for example, is amazing and worth a visit as well stay. A word of caution: before leaving for Goa, do ensure a bottle of sun lotion, a cap and cooling glass in your luggage. The place is so hot especially at the beach area.

Nevertheless, spending a night at Colva is a must feel experience. You will love the time spent on the powdery sand here in the evening. You can spend any time as long as you wish to remain there enjoying the moonlit and the alluring ambiance. There is no sort of disturbance to spoil your mood. You enjoy your time with your dear ones either in silence or listening to the melodies orchestrated by nature or more so to the tunes of the waves. You can carry your guitar and sing along with your buddies. We spent hours on the sand singing some old melodies. You feel a security here thanks to the presence of the life guards and security staff, who keep a strict vigil during the night. Using the powerful search lights they monitor to ensure that everything going smooth. But I think I must share a disturbing scene I found irritating on this otherwise calm place. It is the presence of stray dogs. Their barking sound and group fighting is not a welcome thing for a tourist. But luckily all these happen in the day time! I wonder why the Tourism authority in Goa keep mum on this annoying issue. The menace is increasing each passing day. In my earlier visits I never noticed such issues. Also, the tourists must be aware of certain villains in the area particularly a man running some business in Colva, mainly related to tourism like sight seeing, taxi service etc. He always troubles the tourists when they avoid his services. I have seen him beating the tourists and abusing them verbally. No one is registering complaints against him as all are fearful of him. In case you face any issues from him, you can easily contact Police by calling 100. They will reach the spot within 10 minutes and take immediate action. So please take this option when you are in trouble. You can easily recognize him for he wears rings on all his fingers and roaming around the area in his scooter. You can even file your complaint through email also to the Tourism authorities. Details can easily be collected from Internet. We had some great trouble from him and had reported the case to Tourism Director via email.

To explore Goa, where you need to reach is Madgaon. All trains passing through the Konkan route to Mumbai or Delhi travel through Madgaon. There are a number of direct trains to Madgaon from different parts of India. For travelers from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry Mangalore is the best option since a couple of trains start service from there to Madgaon. If you travel in daytime, you can enjoy the spectacular beauty of Konkan rail route. Bus services also available from Mangalore,

Liquors are easily available in Goa. | Source
A Wine Shop. Liquors are cheap here. Collect some Wine and Feny as a souvenir. | Source
A pool at Colva Beach Resort, a budget hotel in Colva.
Colva Residency is owned by Goa Tourism Department. The property offers a good view of the Colva beach | Source
These cottages in front of the Colva Beach are owned by Goa Tourism Corporation. A decent option for your comfortable stay. | Source
Sitting here, you can watch the scenic beach. Another view of the Colva Residency.
A tourist bus parked in Colmar Beach Resort. They arrange Goa tour every day in the morning. | Source

Bed & Breakfast

Colva is a region (actually it is a coastal village) where a number of mid-range hotels are available offering you budget stay. The place is rich with all types of budget hotels. Hence, accommodation is never an issue. But the joy ends there. You may disappoint when you come to know that food is very expensive here. Most of the restaurants charge you excessively for food. I was shocked when I found a hotel, where the price of an Idly was Rs.30/-. It is too much. So you need to be very careful before giving your order for food. Study the menu well to avoid an unpleasant situation later. Here, what is advisable is choosing the right hotel preferably a small One of the best secret beaches of Goa sans luxury. If you love drinks of any sort, the entire Goa is ok since the liquors are cheap and easily available. I must say that Goa is a paradise for the boozers. Taste the local drink ‘Feni’ to know and feel the real ‘Goan spirit’. Besides, Feni has some medicinal values too. You can read my Feni story below:

Feni is so popular in Goa that every traveler, who happened to visit this most beautiful land must have something to say or share about this country liquor. It is true that Feni is synonymous with Goa. What Tequila is to Mexico, Feni is to Goa. Feni is also spelt Fenny or Fenim. For more information, please read the following article:

T. Rex’s 115-million-year-old British beach-bum cousin found

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An artist’s impression of the dinosaur’s final moments

Trudie Wilson / University of Southampton

Sometime around 115 million years ago, one of Tyrannosaurus Rex‘s previously unidentified cousins found its way south to the Shanklin shoreline on the British Isle of Wight for what would become its final holiday. And, according to the University of Southampton, if it weren’t for the enterprising efforts of the isle’s current-day vacationers, all knowledge of the newly discovered Theropod species, Vectaerovenator inopinatus, which likely lived a bit further north, might have stayed buried in that sandy beach. 

The new carnivorous species, estimated to have been up to 4 meters long, surfaced after one family and two individuals discovered bones from Vectaerovenator’s neck, back and tail. The discoverers handed over their finds to the nearby Dinosaur Isle Museum at Sandown. After studying the four vertebrae, the university’s paleontologists confirmed Wednesday the bones likely belong to an entirely new genus of dinosaur.

Vacationing fossil hound Robin Ward and his family unearthed some of the bones.

“The joy of finding the bones we discovered was absolutely fantastic. I thought they were special and so took them along when we visited Dinosaur Isle Museum. They immediately knew these were something rare and asked if we could donate them to the museum to be fully researched,” Ward said in a release from the University of Southampton. 


Silhouette showing the positions of the bones

Darren Naish / University of Southampton

Vectaerovenator’s discovery at Shanklin is out of the norm for dinosaur deposits, even on the fossil-rich Isle of Wight, according to the study’s leader, Chris Barker. Even more out of the norm is the bones’ composition. 

“We were struck by just How many beaches are in south Goa hollow this animal was — it’s riddled with air spaces. Parts of its skeleton must have been rather delicate,” he said in the release. “The record of theropod dinosaurs from the ‘mid’ Cretaceous period in Europe isn’t that great, so it’s been really exciting to be able to increase our understanding of the diversity of dinosaur species from this time.”

Vectaerovenator’s fossils will soon be on display at the Dinosaur Isle Museum. The find is slated to be detailed in an upcoming paper in the journal Papers in Palaeontology, co-authored by the shore-going citizen scientists who discovered the bones.

Read moreHorse-size T. rex probably not real, says dream-crushing study