Russia invaded Ukraine recently and there is a high possibility of a full-fledge war. Thus, India is making efforts to evacuate its citizens from Ukraine. For this purpose, the Indian government launched ‘Operation Ganga’.
What is ‘Operation Ganga’?
‘Operation Ganga’ is the initiative launched by the government of India to bring back Indians stranded in Ukraine. Under this, India has already successfully brought back more than a 1,000 of its nationals from the country. It has also set up 24×7 control centres to assist in the evacuation of Indians through the border crossing points with Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovak Republic.
‘Operation Ganga’ Twitter Handle
A Twitter handle, ‘OpGanga Helpline’, has also been launched for this mission, where all information regarding evacuation process and advisories of embassies are shared to keep everyone up-to-date.
‘Operation Ganga’ Evacuation Flights
India operated its first evacuation flight under Operation Ganga and brought back 219 Indians from Romania’s capital Bucharest to Mumbai on evening of 26 February. The second evacuation flight carrying 250 nationals landed in Delhi on 27 February. The third flight evacuated 240 Indians from Hungarian capital Budapest, whereas the fourth and fifth flight flew 198 and 249 more passengers from Bucharest to Delhi. The sixth flight under Operation Ganga left for Delhi from Budapest with 240 Indian nationals on 28 February.
Airlines Participating in ‘Operation Ganga’
Earlier, Air India flights were being used to carry out the rescue initiative. But now, Spicejet, Indigo and Air India Express have also joined the mission.
Ministers sent for ‘Operation Ganga’
However, many students who reached Ukraine’s borders with Poland and Romania have not been allowed to enter those nations. Several videos of some of those students, asking for help, have emerged on social media. They have been stuck in freezing temperatures, with limited food and water. The government had identified an alternate train route to help evacuate the students, from Uzhhorod in western Ukraine to Budapest, Hungary’s capital city.
Following this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 28 February decided to send four Union Ministers to Poland and Romania to oversee the evacuation.