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Nepal PM Sher Bahadur Deuba thanks PM Modi for evacuating stranded Nepali nationals from Ukraine

Four Nepalis stuck in Ukraine were rescued through Operation Ganga after Nepali government had sought the help of the Indian government to get its stranded nationals back

On Saturday, Prime Minister of Nepal Sher Bahadur Deuba expressed gratitude towards the Indian government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for helping them to get back the stranded Nepali nationals from Ukraine amid the Russia-Ukraine war.

“Four Nepali nationals have just arrived in Nepal from Ukraine via India. Thank you Prime Minister Modi and the Government of India for the assistance in repatriating Nepali nationals through the Operation Ganga”, Sher Bahadur Deuba tweeted on March 12.

According to the reports, the Nepali government had sought the help of the Indian government on March 3 to get back its stranded nationals through Operation Ganga. As India asserted positively to the request, it evacuated 4 students of Nepal and brought them to India via the neighbouring country of Poland. The students were then sent to Nepal via a special flight safely.

Amid the Russia-Ukraine war, more than 600 Indian nationals were stuck in the conflict-ridden city of Sumy who was moved to a safer location by the Indian Embassy in Ukraine. Along with the Indian nationals, students from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal were also rescued. They were brought back to India through the humanitarian corridors in Kyiv, Sumy, Kharkiv and Maripol.

The human corridor in Sumy was announced only after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to the Presidents of Ukraine and Russia to provide a safe passage to evacuate the Indian nationals stuck in Sumy. Bangladesh’ PM Sheikh Hasina had also thanked India for evacuating nine citizens of her country from war-torn Ukraine.

It is important to note that India has always been ready to help the neighbouring countries during times of crisis. On February 28, the Indian envoy to UN TS Tirumurti at the UNSC meet had said that the country was ready to help those from the neighbouring and developing countries. “We stand ready to help those from our neighbours and developing countries who are also stranded in Ukraine and may seek assistance. We also support all UN humanitarian efforts”, Tirumurti had said.

Earlier, during the COVID crisis, India had helped Maldives, Nepal, and Bangladesh to get back their nationals from China. Also, in Afghanistan, recently when the Taliban forcefully took over the country’s charge, India had facilitated the evacuation of Nepali nationals from the country.

Operation Ganga

Operation Ganga, which was launched on February 26 to evacuate nearly 20,000 Indian nationals who were stuck in Ukraine amid the conflict, concluded on March 10. The last flight of the mission on Thursday brought back around 8000 stranded nationals from Ukraine. With this total 18,000 Indian nationals have been evacuated under the mission.

Several special flights had been running from Poland, Romania, and Hungary to bring the students home. Air India, Air India Express, IndiGo, and SpiceJet had also joined the mission operating multiple flights from Ukraine’s neighboring countries to Delhi and Mumbai.

Jyotiraditya Scindia, Minister of Civil Aviation had earlier informed that the Indian government had been working 24/7 to ensure that all Indians could get out of Ukraine safe. “There were 19760 odd children in Ukraine. Before the war broke out, through the advisories, about 4800 children had already left”, he had said.

It must be mentioned that the Ukrainian airspace was closed for civilian aircraft from the day the war between Russia and Ukraine broke out. As such, the Indian embassy in Ukraine had to coordinate with the embassies of neighboring countries in Poland, Romania and Hungary for the creation of safe evacuation channels. Under ‘Operation Ganga’, Indians were first taken in batches from Ukraine to bordering countries via buses/commute arranged by the embassy. They were then airlifted to Delhi or Mumbai through chartered Air India flights.

The Indian government had sent its 4 Union Ministers, namely, Hardeep Singh Puri, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Kiren Rijiju and General (Retd) VK Singh to Hungary, Romania and Moldova, Slovakia, and Poland respectively, to coordinate the Operation Ganga.

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