India, Stories

Not Just in Yemen, India has a stellar record of evacuating its Citizens from strife torn countries


India’s efforts in evacuating its citizens from the strife torn Yemen has won global accolades and rightly so. By last count, more than 4000 Indians have been rescued and have reached India safely. Not just that, India has been successful in rescuing over 500 foreigners from 32 countries. Citizens of countries like the USA, UK & Russia have also been evacuated by India. This rescue effort is a perfect example of how co-ordination between various government agencies like the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Navy, Air Force, Air India, Shipping, Railways and State Governments can produce the right results.


It is not just in Yemen, India has a stellar record of evacuating its citizens and those of other nations from strife torn countries. Here is a compilation of some of the important efforts by India since 2006, as per information available with MEA.

indian citizen evacuations from Yemen - Operation Raahat


LEBANON: Out of 12000 Indian nationals, about 1782 have been evacuated after the war broke out. 10000 Indians opted to stay back. Nepalis, Srilankans & Lebanese were also evacuated in this effort.


EGYPT: Air India arranged three special flights from Cairo to Delhi for Indian Citizens living in Egypt and stranded Indian tourists who wanted to leave Egypt. Around 670 Indian availed of these special Air India flights.

JAPAN: Special flights of Air India were arranged for Indian nationals in Japan who wished to temporarily and voluntarily leave Japan in the wake of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident.

LIBYA: As situation deteriorated in Libya, Government of India facilitated evacuation of more than 16,200 Indian nationals desirous of returning to India by all means, i.e. by air, sea and land.

YEMEN: A total of 800 Indian nationals have been evacuated from Yemen by Government of India.


SOMALIA: 5 Indian seafarers aboard MV ICEBERG-1 rescued from Somali Pirates after 33 months of captivity.


SUDAN: 70 workers from Bihar who wished to go back home have returned to India following a labour unrest.

UKRAINE: Around 1000 Indian nationals, mostly medical students from Lugansk and a few from Donetsk, were evacuated by train to Kyiv, following the escalation of violence. All expenditure on their travel by train, boarding and lodging was met by the Government. As a goodwill gesture, the Government also evacuated to Kyiv, nationals from Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

IRAQ: An estimated 22,000 Indian nationals were in Iraq at the beginning of the conflict. Till November 2014, over 7,000 Indian nationals in Iraq have been provided assistance, including air tickets, travel documents and immigration facilitation etc. A group of 46 nurses working in a local hospital in the city of Tikrit got stuck due to the conflict, but were safely brought back to India in a special Air India flight.

LIBYA: They are an estimated 6,000 Indian nationals, including 1,000 nurses, in various parts of Libya. 3,371 Indians were assisted since July 2014.

GAZA: 4 Indians were evacuated in July 2014. There are other Indians who wish to remain in Gaza.

indian citizen evacuations from Yemen - Operation Raahat

YEMEN: More than 4000 Indians have been rescued from Yemen. Apart from this over 500 foreigners from 32 countries were also evacuated. Indian efforts are lauded by the entire world.

39 Indians who are abducted in Mosul in Iraq are still untracable. This is the only case in the recent history where India has been unsuccessful. The government sources maintain that they are trying their level best.


About Author

Rakesh has been working on issues related to Right to Information (RTI) for a decade. He is a Data/Information enthusiast & passionate about Governance/Policy issues.

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