Heroes! Who are they? Not just the ones who annihilate their enemies but also those who can help the distressed. As humans, we have always respected brave men who have risked their very own lives to protect the weaker ones. Times of crises, such as war, surely reveal the real heroes – both individually and collectively. The already one-year-old bloody war between the Saudi-coalition and the Houthi rebels has caused major problems to the innocent residents of Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East. Thousands of people from different countries face death on an everyday basis and are forced to be displaced. India, the land of refuge for millions in her glorious past, has once again offered to help those stranded due to the violent havoc wreaked by the religious fanatics and terrorists against the innocents.
India’s immediate response to the calls of distress from her own citizens as well as those from other nations has been stunning. There are approximately 4000 Indians in Yemen. As of yesterday (6/4/2015), over 3300 Indians and over 200 citizens of at least 26 other countries have been evacuated from Yemen.
Working from Djibouti, the hub of operation ‘Rahat’, several Indian organisational bodies – the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the Navy, the IAF, Air India and the Ministry of shipping, have made the evacuation process a smooth one. With evacuees from different countries including France, Germany, Nepal and Iraq, operation ‘Rahat’ is set to be completed in two more days’ time.
On March 31st, as soon as Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, India was allowed a 3-4 hour window to begin the evacuation operations. The whole Indian rescue team came together within hours and thus, was initiated operation ‘Rahat’.
Two important members leading the operation on-site and off-site need to be commended for their efforts. The current MoS External Affairs, General V. K. Singh, has been a huge advantage with respect to the ground operations. Leading from the front with his army intelligence, General Singh has made it possible for the strict and comprehensive regulation of the operation. Foreign Minister, Ms. Sushma Swaraj, with her ever active communications has made the off-site organisation of the operation run with no hassles. Social media has been a strong facilitator for the MEA’s activities in Yemen. Several stranded people conveyed their requests or clarifications directly to Ms. Swaraj’s Twitter handle and their grievances were addressed as soon as possible.
Sending rescue ships directly in the line of fire and planes while air fire was an imminent threat at all times, the Indian team placed the safety of the evacuees above its own and has successfully come close to the end of its mission. India has once again exhibited immortal courage in the face of danger and the readiness to stand by her own people as well as foreigners when her help is needed. Truly, the team of operation ‘Rahat’ is made of heroes.
All hail the heroes of ‘Rahat’! Welcome home again dear brothers and sisters!