What is Operation Ganga?: The Government of India, amidst the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, on February 27, 2022, launched ‘Operation Ganga’ to evacuate around 15,000 Indians in Ukraine. The Foreign Secretary of India, Harsh V Shringla said in a statement that the Indian Government will bear the entire cost of the evacuation process in war-torn Ukraine.
Under Operation Ganga, the Government has also announced that evacuation flights are operated from the neighbouring countries such as Romania and Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland. As per the data by the Ministry of External Affairs, around 20,000 Indians are stuck in Ukraine. 4,000 were able to come to India before the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
Operation Ganga: How Government is assisting Indians stuck in Ukraine?
Flights for evacuation of Indian citizens via neighboring countries
Because of the closing of Ukrainian Airspace, the Central Government under Operation Ganga has been operating Indian evacuation flights out of Romanian Capital Bucharest and the Capital of Hungary Budapest.
Under Operation Ganga, the first flight of Air India carrying 219 Indian evacuees from Ukraine had landed in Mumbai Airport from Bucharest.
24x7 control centers established
Under Operation Ganga, the Government of India has set up several 24x7 Control Centers to assist the evacuation of Indian Nationals in Ukraine through the border crossing points with Romania, Poland, Slovak Republic, and Hungary.
‘OpGanga Helpline’: A dedicated Twitter Account
A dedicated Twitter account named ‘OpGanga’ Helpline has also been set up to assist Operation Ganga. The control room continues to function on a 24x7 basis.
24x7 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
Operation Ganga: Govt to bring 15,000 Indian citizens from Ukraine
As per the Civil Aviation Minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia informed that till now, three Air India Flights- one from Bucharest to Mumbai and three from Budapest to Delhi- have been able to bring back approx. 700 Indians from Ukraine to India.
The third flight of Operation Ganga carrying 240 Indian Nationals had taken off from Budapest to Delhi while on February 27, a fourth flight, which was carrying around 198 stranded Indians from Bucharest had left for India.
The Indian embassy had also issued an advisory for the Indian citizens not to move to any of the border posts without prior coordination with the Indian Government officials at the border posts and the emergency numbers of the Indian Embassy.
Operation Ganga: Union Ministers to go to neighbouring countries of Ukraine
In a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Modi, it has been decided that the Union Ministers Jyotiraditya Scindia, Hardeep Singh Puri, Kiren Rijiju, and Gen (Retd) VK Singh will travel to the neighbouring countries of Ukraine to coordinate the evacuation mission and to help the students.
Union Ministers Hardeep Singh Puri, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Kiren Rijiju and Gen (Retd) VK Singh to travel to neighbouring countries of Ukraine to coordinate the evacuation mission and help students: Govt sources#RussiaUkraineCrisis pic.twitter.com/DbaQ6U47KQ — ANI (@ANI) February 28, 2022
The rescue of the Indian Citizens under ‘Operation Ganga’ has come as the Russian Military continues to advance in the Capital of Ukraine. Explosions in parts of Kyiv were heard on February 25, 2022, as the Russian forces approached the cities.
Even though there are reports that Ukraine and Russia are discussing a place and time for talks, several videos from eyewitnesses have shown explosions taking place in the Capital city of Ukraine.