New Delhi: India’s massive exercise to bring back lakhs of its citizens stranded abroad will be called ‘Vande Bharat Mission,’ External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar announced on Tuesday, sharing on his Twitter account photos of meeting taking place at his office with regards to the preparations of the plan. Also Read - When And How Will Flights Resume in India? Read The Complete Plan
“Commenced preparations for Vande Bharat Mission. Planning underway for stranded Indian nationals to return home starting 7th May. Urge them to keep in regular touch with their embassies,” the EAM tweeted today evening. Also Read - 14,800 Stranded Indians, 12 Countries, 64 Flights: Government's Mega Evacuation Plan to Begin From May 7
“Coordinating arrival arrangements with state governments. Confident that our collective efforts will make this a success,” he said in another tweet. Also Read - UV Tunnels, Self Check-in Machines: Delhi Airport's Strategy to Resume Flights Post Lockdown
Notably, in the first phase of this exercise, from May 7-13, India will bring back 14,800 of its citizens stranded in 12 different countries due to the coronavirus pandemic. The 12 countries from where stranded Indian citizens will be repatriated are: the UAE, the UK, the US, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman.
Earlier today, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri announced that India will send 10 flights to the UAE, seven flights each to the US and the UK, five flights to Saudi Arabia, five flights to Singapore and two flights to Qatar. To Malaysia and Bangladesh, Kuwait and Philippines and Kuwait and Bahrain, seven each, five each and two flights each will be sent.
Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express will carry out this evacuation exercise, with passengers having to pay for their journey back home.