Over 170 Indian nationals, including an infant, were repatriated from Sri Lanka today.
The High Commission of India in Colombo said a total of 174 Indian nationals were repatriated on special Air India flight AI 1284 from Colombo to Mumbai and Delhi.
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 return of Indian nationals stranded overseas due to the COVID19 pandemic.
Over 1.3 million Indians have been repatriated so far through different modes of the ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ including Air India, private and foreign carriers, chartered flights, naval ships and land border crossings from around the world. The phase 6 of the ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ became operational on 1st September.
The Indian High Commission in Colombo said Indian nationals who were stranded in Sri Lanka due to restrictions on international travel because of the COVID19 pandemic have expressed their happiness at the opportunity to return home. Nearly 2000 Indian nationals have been repatriated from Sri Lanka so far, including this flight, through nine special Air India Flights, Indian Naval Ship Jalashwa which made a voyage from Colombo to Tuticorin on 01st June, and through various charter flights.
Based on the registrations received by the High Commission of India, a passenger manifest is prepared for the special repatriation 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 family member, and students as stated in the Standard Operating Procedure issued by Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
Indian nationals stranded in Sri Lanka who have not yet registered with the High Commission have been requested to do so on the following link -https://hcicolombo.gov.in/COVID_helpline.
The Indian High Commission in Colombo further urges all stranded Indian nationals to follow updates on the High Commission’s website and social media. (Colombo Gazette)