India has a long history of bringing its people from abroad if any emergency takes place. When any crisis or an untoward situation arises in any country then the government of India immediately takes action and tries to go for the safe evacuation of its citizens. Several times, Indian citizens were safely brought back home after the government’s intervention. Currently, people are being evacuated safely from China’s worst-hit coronavirus affected regions. As per the report overall, 842 Indians and 48 foreign nationals have been evacuated from Wuhan and the cruise ship in Japan.
To add to the long list, India has been doing a great work of bringing back stranded Indians from coronavirus hit countries. As a result, Indians in Iran, Italy and other countries were able to return home.
India and its evacuation operations
IAF evacuates people from China
An Indian Air Force (IAF) plane had recently gone to China’s Hubei province with the 15 tonnes of medical relief to Wuhan, which is seriously affected by the deadly coronavirus epidemic. This plane returned India evacuating 76 Indians and 36 people from seven other nations. This act of Indian Air Force plane was worth praising. The medical relief is a sign of India’s solidarity with people of China in this “difficult time”.
Consignment (15 tonnes) of Indian medical relief for #COVID19 lands in Wuhan. Strong expression of our solidarity with the Chinese people at this difficult time. Thank you @IAF_MCC and @EOIBeijing for your efforts. pic.twitter.com/v2ph3LHogM
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) February 26, 2020
Air India brings 119 people from Tokyo
Another evacuation operation took place when a special Air India flight carrying 119 Indians along with five people from Sri Lanka, Nepal, South Africa and Peru, who were on board the coronavirus-hit quarantined cruise ship Diamond Princess touched the New Delhi airport from Tokyo. There were 138 Indians out of 3,711 people on the luxury cruise ship in Japan. Foreign Minister S Jaishankar tweeted,
“Thank you @airindiain once again”
Operation Rahat: 4,640 people safely reaches home
Operation Rahat was conducted by the Indian Armed Forces to bring back Indian citizens and other foreign nationals from Yemen when Saudi Arabia did the military operations in Yemen. The evacuation process started by both sea and air routes. The Indian Air Force and Air India were deployed for the evacuation act from Yemen. More than 4,640 Indians were trapped in Yemen. The entire air evacuation process ended on April 9, 2015, while two days later evacuation by sea concluded.
US needs India’s help during Operation Rahat
In the evacuation process done by India, 960 foreign nationals from 41 countries were also safely brought back. The United States had issued a circular to its citizens in Yemen to approach the Indian High Commission for help.
Kuwait: 170,000 people airlifted
The gulf war kicked off in 1990 when the coalition forces, including the US, gathered in Saudi Arabia to protect oil-rich country Kuwait from Saddam Hussain’s led Iraqi aggression. The US, along with other allies, used carpet bombing to push the Iraqi forces from Kuwait in 1991. A large number of Indians were stuck in the war. Air India handled the rescue operations. It is estimated that 170,000 people were airlifted from Kuwait with the help of 488 flights in 59 days.
Air India creates a history
With its remarkable performance during the Gulf War, Air India’s name entered the Guinness Book of World Records for evacuating most people from a country in a limited time.
Gujral’s shrewd diplomacy
During the Gulf War, India’s Foreign Minister I.K. Gujral applied its shrewd diplomacy. Initially, some military aircraft was arranged to evacuate the elderly and children. But this operation proved futile, and then the government turned to Air India for the evacuation of the people from Kuwait. This successful operation continued for almost two months and created a history.
Operation Blossom took place in 2011 when a protest started against the military rule in Libya. It is estimated that 8,000 Indians were trapped during that period. They were evacuated by the Indian Navy’s INS Jalashwa and a destroyer INS Mysore. Both the ships carried 1,200 people at a time. This way, these people were rescued.
The Indian government never ignores its citizens; instead, it leaves no stone unturned in the evacuation of its people safely in the time of distress. Credit should be given to those who take part in such dangerous operations for the safety of fellow countrymen.