From the greatest airlifted evacuation in human history (the Kuwait story) to rescuing stranded nationals from conflict-ravaged Yemen and Libya, India has been a boss in extracting civilians out of difficult situations.
Already the hype behind Gen (Retd) VK Singh's trip to evacuate more than 500 Indians stuck in South Sudan - an operation named "Sankat Mochan" - has garnered enough steam to get social and television media all pumped up. New Delhi has been at the forefront of many a relief and rehabilitation op worldwide, and by now has earned quite a name in this risk-ridden field of international rescue operations.
Let's take a look back at some of the previous occasions when India successfully evacuated its civilians caught in the crosshairs of conflict and violent civil war in foreign lands.
|A picture showing the 1990 evacuation of Indian citizens from Kuwait. [Photo: Reuters]|
In the legendary airlift of 1990, India evacuated approximately 175,000 people, with stellar help of national carrier Air India, after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. The operation has been given a cinematic nod in the Akshay Kumar starrer Airlift (2016).
Operation Safe Homecoming
|INS Mysore en route to evacuate Indians from Libya in 2011. [Photo: Indian Navy]|
The Indian government evacuated about 15,000 people feeling from the Libyan civil war in 2011.
The operation was carried out by three Indian Navy ships, two destroyers the INS Mysore, and INS Aditya, and our largest amphibious vessel INS Jalashwa, along with major support from Air India, as well as all major private players.
|Indian evacuees waiting to board INS Sumitra. [Photo: Indian Navy]|
Operation Raahat was the effort from the Indian armed forces to evacuate Indian citizens and other foreign nationals from Yemen in 2015 when Saudi Arabia intervened during the Yemeni crisis and started aerial bombing of Yemen. The Indian Air Force and Air India joined hands to evacuate more than 4,640 Indians in Yemen along with 960 foreign nationals of 41 countries.
|Early and proper evacuation saved many lives during Cyclone Hudhud. [Photo: PTI]|
The armed forces and the National Disaster Response Force evacuated about 3,50,000 people when Cyclone Hudhud crashed the coastal states of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. The cyclone was classified "very severe" and brought winds of up to 205km/h on the eastern coastline.