Saturday, October 10, 2020

Vande Bharat Mission Phase VII: More than 17 lakh Indians stranded overseas brought back till date

Till date more than 17 lakh stranded Indians have been brought back by air, sea and land across multiple borders. This was possible due to 24×7 massive coordination exercise undertaken by the Indian Missions & Posts across the globe. In this exercise of repatriation of stranded Indians, the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) which turned 74 years old on Oct 9, 2020, was leading from the front as always in the times of distress.

Overcoming daunting logistical challenges, in close coordination with other ministries and state agencies, the IFS Officers and their teams were able to provide medicines and COVID-19 protective mask and equipment to more than 150 countries.

The Indian Pharma the industry had emerged as an asset to not only to India but also for the entire world.

On October 7, through different modes of the VBM, almost 17.22 lakh Indians have been repatriated and these include Air India flights, Indian Naval Ships, charter flights, private and foreign carriers and through the land borders.

Since Oct 7, when the Phase VII started, around 873 international flights have been scheduled from 25 countries. These flights are going to be operated during the entire month.

These include flights from among the 14 countries – those who have a bilateral ‘air bubble’ arrangement in place with India. “The air bubble arrangement has been working satisfactorily adding to the capacity,” says the MEA.

As has been reported earlier, these flights are expected to reach 24 airports across the country and are expected to repatriate an estimated 1.7 lakh people. Until Oct 7, out of 873 international flights, 210 flights have already operated out of 18 countries.

10/10/20 Huma Siddiqui/Financial Express

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