New Delhi: – Nearly 3,500 Indian citizens stranded abroad because of the Coronavirus pandemic have been brought back to their homeland under ‘Operation Samudra Setu’ and ‘Vande Bharat’ campaigns of the Indian navy and air force. An Air India flight carrying 243 passengers reached Mumbai from Singapore. The Indian naval warship INS Jalashwa has returned to India with 698 Indians.
Campaigns are being undertaken, between 7th May and 13th May, by the Indian Navy and Airforce to evacuate Indians stranded abroad because of the lockdown imposed in those countries. Vande Bharat campaign envisages evacuation of 15,000 Indians from 12 countries in the first phase. Till date, Indians have been brought back from the United Kingdom, Kuwait, Muscat, Sharjah, Kuala Lumpur and Dhaka, with 8 aircraft. The first aircraft arriving from Dhaka landed in Delhi on Saturday, carrying 129 Indians. Besides, 326 Indians landed at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International airport in Mumbai from the United Kingdom. Before that, two aircrafts had brought in 362 Indians from Kuwait. 177 Indians were brought from Malaysia too.
350 Indians were brought back from the United Arab Emirates, and more than 180 Indians have returned from Sharjah. At the same time, an Air India flight landed in Mumbai, carrying 243 Indians from Singapore. 241 Indians are being brought from the Philippines. 200 Indians will reach here from the United States on Monday. In the United States, 2,500 Indians have registered for evacuation to India.
Other than this, the Indian Naval ship INS Jalashwa has brought in 698 Indians from the Maldives as a part of the Operation Samudra Setu of the Indian Navy. Officials informed that INS Jalashwa left the Indian shores on 8th May in the night for the Maldives and reached Kochi on Sunday in the morning at 8.
Help was being sought by the Indians stranded abroad, due to the pandemic, returning to India. Thereafter, the union government charted out this scheme for the evacuation of the Indian citizens stranded abroad. Nearly, 250,000 citizens are to be evacuated under this scheme.