In the second phase of the Vande Bharat Mission—launched to bring back Indians stranded abroad—as many as 45,216 Indians have returned to India. By the end of Phase 2 of the Mission, India is targeting to bring back 1 lakh passenger s from 60 countries. Preparations for third phase of Vande Bharat Mission are already underway.
Those brought back under Phase 2 so far include 8,069 migrant workers, 7,656 students and 5,107 professionals. About 5,000 Indians have returned through land border immigration checkpoints from Nepal and Bangladesh.
“A total number of 3,08,200 persons have registered their request with our Missions abroad for repatriation to India on compelling grounds,” MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.
During Phase II, a total of 429 Air India flights (311 international flights + 118 feeder flights) from 60 countries are scheduled to land in India. The Indian Navy will be making four more sorties to bring back returnees from Iran, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, the MEA said.
“We are also assisting return of stranded Indians from remote locations in Latin America and Caribbean, Africa, and parts of Europe. This is being done by taking advantage of foreign carriers flying to India primarily for evacuation of their nationals. Recently, about 300 stranded Indians from Peru, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Portugal and Netherlands were brought in. We will be exploring more such options,” Srivastava said.
The government has now included private airlines as part of Phase II of Vande Bharat Mission. Chartered flights have also begun to operate and return of our nationals through land borders has commenced. The numbers are expected to go up in the coming days with the permission for chartered flights and more efficient use of quarantine capacity.