Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri announced on Saturday, May 16 that over 13,000 Indian nations have returned to the country under the first phase of Vande Bharat Mission. Puri said that on Saturday alone over 800 Indians returned on special Air India flights that came from international cities such as London, Newark, and Dubai, adding that more people are expected to return.
More than 13,000 people have already returned on various flights under Mission Vande Bharat so far.— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) May 16, 2020
Today, 812 citizens have returned on @airindiain & AirIndia Express flights from Newark, London, Dubai & Abu Dhabi.
More flights continue.@PMOIndia @MEAIndia @IndembAbuDhabi pic.twitter.com/YMKG5tnywW
Vande Bharat Mission, launched by the Indian government to bring back stranded Indians from foreign soil, is being termed as the biggest evacuation mission to be carried out by a country in modern history.
As per reports, the mission will see the evacuation of over 14,000 Indians by air and sea from 12 different countries. Air India is operating flights from Riyadh, London, San Fransisco, Washington DC, Singapore since May 7. The cost of travel by air is being borne by passengers, the external affairs ministry had said.
The Indian Navy is also running operations as part of the mission to evacuate stranded Indians from foreign shores. The Indian Navy has deployed two warships - INS Jalashwa and INS Magar, which has started making trips to bring stranded Indians back from the Maldives. As per reports, the Indian Navy has already evacuated over 1,400 Indian nationals from the Maldives as part of the operation 'Samundra Setu'.
(Image Credit: PTI)