Indian Naval Ship INS Jalashwa made a voyage from Colombo Port to Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu yesterday (1 June) carrying nearly 700 stranded Indian nationals from Sri Lanka.
The voyage is part of Operation Samudra Setu, an exercise in which Indian Naval Ships have been deployed to bring back stranded Indians abroad under the Vande Bharat Mission, the Indian High Commission said.
High Commissioner of India Gopal Baglay interacted with the passengers at the Colombo Port and wished them safe travel before the journey . He also thanked the Government of Sri Lanka for its close cooperation in the ongoing repatriation of Indians stranded in Sri Lanka.
This is INS Jalashwa's second voyage to Sri Lanka. Nearly three years ago on 30 May 2017, she was rushed to Sri Lanka with rescue teams and relief material to assist Sri Lanka Navy in flood relief operations. That year India had sent three of its naval ships INS Kirch, INS Shardul and INS Jalashwa to assist in the relief operation.
In addition to playing a vital role in ensuring maritime safety and security in Indian Ocean and beyond, India has also been the first responder for partner countries during times of crisis. Beginning with the 2004 tsunami, Indian naval ships have conducted various Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief missions across the Indian Ocean.
In recent years, Indian Naval ships have provided relief material and assistance in various countries including in Mozambique after cyclone Idai hit the country in 2019, in Indonesia after a high-intensity earthquake and the tsunami struck the country in 2018, in Mauritius after cyclone Berguitta in 2018.
Indian Navy also rescued Bangladeshi fishermen after Cyclone Mora hit Bangladesh in 2017 and has made provision for drinking water after a desalination plant caught fire in Male, Maldives.