Vastavam web: 174 Indian nationals including an infant were repatriated from Sri Lanka on a special Air India flight AI 1284 from Colombo to Mumbai and Delhi yesterday. The flight was scheduled as part of ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ a Government of India initiative to undertake the largest ever repatriation from all over the world for the return of Indian nationals stranded abroad due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian High Commission in a statement said.
The Indian nationals who were stranded in Sri Lanka due to restrictions on international travel because of COVID-19 pandemic have expressed their happiness at the opportunity to return home. Nearly 2,000 Indian nationals have been repatriated from Sri Lanka so far including this flight through nine special Air India flights, an Indian Naval Ship Jalashwa, which made a voyage from Colombo to Tuticorin on June 01 and through various charter flights.
Priority is given to compelling cases in distress, including migrant workers/labourers who have been laid off, short term visa holders faced with expiry of visa, people with medical emergency, pregnant women, elderly, those required to return to India due to death of a family member, and students as stated in the Standard Operating Procedure issued by Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.