Vande Bharat: A Mission that brought millions of Indians home amid Covid-19

New Delhi, June 06 2021, (ANI): When the global lockdown was necessitated due to the first wave of COVID-19 in early 2020, several Indian citizens were distressed and stranded around the world. Most activity around the world had come to a standstill. It is then that the Government of India decided to reach out to our citizens and facilitate their repatriation and international travel. Vande Bharat Mission was launched on 6th May 2020 as the world’s largest repatriation mission. For millions of our people, it proved to be a mission of hope and happiness. The travel and repatriation of over 16,000 people on 64 flights was facilitated in the first phase of the mission. Since then, the mission which now continues in its 10th phase, has facilitated the repatriation and international travel of more than 85 lakh people. Air bubble arrangements with 28 countries were put in place. This facilitated monitored outbound travel to further help our citizens. Several stranded Indian citizens have returned home. Many students and professionals had compelling reasons to travel abroad to countries which were accepting incoming passengers. Many stakeholders of the civil aviation sector including officers of the Ministry, professionals associated with various airlines, and airports have stood rock solid to successfully run the operation. Ministry of External Affairs, our Missions all over the world, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare & different State Governments have also played a key role in ensuring streamlined operations of this mission. The objective is clear, and we stand by it even today - No Indian who desires to return to the country will be left behind. We will continue to reach out and bring our people back home. The flights of hope and happiness under Vande Bharat Mission continue every day.

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