As the Ukraine-Russia crisis intensifies day by day, the Ukrainian airspace has been blocked for transportation via civil aircraft operations. Tata-owned Air India flights are evacuating stranded Indians via land borders with Romania, Slovak Republic, Poland and Hungary.
Air India- Vande Bharat Mission
Earlier Air India evacuation flights were scheduled to leave for Ukraine on Thursday. Due to the airspace restrictions, the planes had to turn back mid-air.
Now, the chartered private planes owned by the Tata group come as an aid in the turbulent times. Air India is operating 256-seater Boeing 787 aircraft under the Vande Bharat Mission. The response measure comes immediately after the restriction procedures were announced.
Air India tweeted about their responsibility for serving the nation. The title of Air India’s tweet is, “Kyunki Himmat Se Hamari Purani Yaari Hai,”
It said, “Air India has always been playing a pivotal role, standing by the nation during any crisis and now, inspired by the common missions shared by the Tata group and AI of serving the ‘nation and its people first’ our employees are only too eager to respond to the call of our nation, driven by our values and conviction that if we don’t do it then who will?”
A video clip sourced by NDTV shows Indian Ambassador to Romania, Rahul Shrivastava, reassuring the passengers that no one will be left stranded in Ukraine in the Mumbai-bound flight from Romania on February 26.
He said the mission is not complete even if one Indian is left behind. From Ukraine, many students were evacuated to Bucharest, Romania, to board the flight.
The students were praising the Indian officials and Air India for helping in such tough times. One student said, “Our parents are relieved and we are very grateful to everyone involved in the evacuation process.”
But not all the students are getting help due to heavy traffic. Many videos are circulating on the internet asking for help.
The Indian students are repeatedly asking for help regarding cash, food and water as they take refuge in underground metro stations, hostel basements and bunkers. How is the Embassy handling the situation?
In a video shared by MP Rahul Gandhi, a student says, “No special flights have been accommodated for us. We have been staying at this bunker… it’s really hard for us. We request you to send help as soon as possible.”
The Embassy Statement
The constant missile attacks, bombings and gunfire shots have led many Indian citizens to go near border posts without coordination with officials.
The Indian Embassy tweeted, “The situation at various border checkpoints is sensitive and the Embassy is working continuously with our Embassies in our neighbouring countries for coordinated evacuation of our citizens.”
The Embassy said, “Staying in western cities of Ukraine with access to water, food, accommodation and basic amenities is relatively safer and advisable compared to reaching border checkpoints without being fully abreast of the situation.”
The Indian Embassy in Kyiv has been issuing advisories repeatedly. The External Affairs Ministry has set up camp offices in Chernivtsi and Lviv, towns in western Ukraine for facilitating the transit of Indians to Hungary, Romania and Poland.
The constant economic devastation, destruction of properties and daily reports of casualties are creating panic and fear for life. The sudden displacement, roaring missiles and uncertainties have wounded the people.
Disclaimer: This article is fact-checked
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