America remained almost oblivious and did nothing to protect its citizens in Yemen when there is continuing fighting between the Shia Houthi rebels and the Saudi Arabia-led coalition of 10 nations.
India on the other hand had a challenging task. There were over 3000 Indian citizens more than the number of US citizens in Yemen. PM Narendra Modi personally spoke to Saudi King Salman, New Delhi was allowed a 3-4 hour window during which its planes flew into Yemeni airspace to pick up evacuees from Sana. Ex Army General VK Singh personally went to Yemen to oversee the operation.
Courtesy: Zee media
Moreover, Kerala Government is giving Rs.2000/- to each passenger arriving in Kochi. Maharashtra Government is giving Rs.3,000/- to each passenger arriving in Mumbai. Indian Railways are providing all hospitality and confirmed tickets free of charge for onward journey to their home
Courtesy: The Economic Times
Operation code named, haven’t gone unnoticed. As on April 6, 23 countries have requested Indian assistance in evacuating their citizens in Yemen.
Some of the Indian nationals’ passports were held by their employers. Indian embassy intervened and got back their passport as well.
India is in the midst of one of the largest rescue missions from a foreign country.
Codenamed operation Raahat, the mission was launched in the last week of March to bring back Indians from war-torn Yemen.
On March 31, India sent V.K. Singh, one of its ministers and former chief of the Indian Army, to oversee the mission and ensure safe return of its citizens.
By April 7 (Tuesday), India is expected to bring back almost all its citizens stuck in Yemen. As many as 4000 Indians—mostly engaged as laborers and nurses—were said to be living in the country before the rescue mission. About 2300 are now back in India, according to the news agency Press Trust of India.
Some facts regarding the operation-
- So far the Indian Air force has airlifted 1,144 evacuees from Yemen. Most of them were immediately transferred to Djibouti, a small country located near Somalia at the horn of Africa, from where they were flown back to India.
- The Indian national carrier, Air India, carried 488 people through three special flights from Sana’a( Largest city in Yemen) to India on April 5. A day later, Air India is reported to have evacuated 574 people from Sana’a to Djibouti, described as the single largest evacuation by air in a day.
- While Air India has so far used two Airbus A320’s and a Boeing 777 to evacuate Indians, the Indian Army used two C-17 Globe-masters to airlift Indians from Djibouti to Mumbai. The Indian air-force had dispatched its C-17s on April 2, and brought back 358 Indians.
- INS Mumbai—a missile destroyer—and two other vessels, including war ship INS Tarkash and INS Sumitra were sent to Yemen last week. India’s shipping corporation also sent two passenger ships—Kavaratti and Corals—to Yemen to assist the navy. In all, India sent five ships to Yemen.
- The last time the Indian Navy was actively involved in an international rescue operation was roughly ten years ago—during the 2006 Lebanon War.
- Small boats were used to transport Indians from Yemen’s port city Aden onto the naval vessels that could not enter the ports due to heavy firing. So far, between April 1 and April 5, INS Sumitra and INS Mumbai have evacuated 1,330 people, including 1,154 Indians from Yemen and brought to Djibouti.
Now, impressed with the evacuation procedure, 26 countries have sought India’s help to evacuate their citizens from the war-torn country!!
This is indeed the proudest moment for any Indian!! India is truly blessed to have people with such dedication in the army and a PM with such a foresight and administrative capabilities!
Edit-3:As suggested by and , In 1990 during gulf war, the Indian government airlifted over 1,70,000 Indians from Kuwait with help of 488 flights in just 59 days. Air India entered into Guinness Book of World Records for the civil airline that had evacuated the most people till date.
Edit-4: This shows the level of commitment