What is Operation Ganga? – The Indian Express

As Russian invasion into Ukraine has left its major cities, including its capital Kyiv, under siege, India is making efforts to evacuate its citizens stuck in the war-torn country.
‘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. A Twitter handle, ‘OpGanga Helpline’, has also been dedicated to the mission, where all information regarding evacuation process and advisories of embassies are shared to keep everyone up-to-date.
24×7 Control Centres set up to assist in the evacuation of Indian nationals through the border crossing points with Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovak Republic⬇️https://t.co/uMI1Wu5Jwd#OperationGanga pic.twitter.com/UXF1NVBFcr
— OpGanga Helpline (@opganga) February 27, 2022
Thousands of Indians, especially students studying medicine in Ukraine, have been stuck in the country since it closed its airspace as a security measure after Russia launched “special military operations”. The Indian Embassy, however, assured them that alternative arrangements would be made to help them fly back to India.
India operated its first evacuation flight under Operation Ganga and brought back 219 Indians from Romania’s capital Bucharest to Mumbai on Saturday evening. The second evacuation flight carrying 250 nationals landed in Delhi on Sunday. 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. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said the sixth flight under Operation Ganga left for Delhi from Budapest with 240 Indian nationals on Monday. Even as Air India flights were being used to carry out the rescue initiative, Spicejet, Indigo and Air India Express have now joined the mission.
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 Monday decided to send four Union Ministers to Poland and Romania to oversee the evacuation. Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs and Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Puri, Minister for Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiradtiya Scindia, and and Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways and Civil Aviation General V K Singh are the ones who will be heading out soon as Special Envoys of the Indian government, sources said.
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