By Shweta Aggarwal
Pulling out all stops, the Indian government is working literally round-the-click to bring over 18,000 Indian students stuck in various cities of the war-torn Ukraine, with four ministers sent to neighbouring countries of Ukraine to supervise evacuation operations.
The decision to send the ministers was taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 28.
The “entire government machinery is working round-the-clock to ensure that all Indian nationals there are safe and secure,” said a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
PM Modi also spoke to Prime Minister of Romania Nicolae-Ionel Ciuca and Prime Minister of Slovak Republic Eduard Heger – the two neighbouring countries west of Ukraine, which have extended help in evacuating Indian citizens stuck at border crossings.
According to the decision taken by PM, Petroleum Hardeep Puri will be heading to Hungary, Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju to Slovakia, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia will look at Romania and Moldova. Minister of State for Civil Aviation V.K. Singh will oversee the evacuation in Poland. They will visit these countries as Special Envoys of the Indian government.
“The Prime Minister pointed out that the visit of four senior ministers as his Special Envoys to various nations will energize the evacuation efforts. It is reflective of the priority the Government attaches to this matter,” the PMO said. “Guided by India’s motto of the world being one family, Prime Minister also stated that India will help people from neighbouring countries and developing countries who are stranded in Ukraine and may seek assistance,” the PMO added.
So far, Air India has operated six flights from Delhi and Mumbai to Bucharest in Romania and Budapest in Hungary, bringing back 1,396 nationals.
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