The Indian government on Friday started repatriating its nationals, stranded in Bangladesh due to restrictions on flight operation, with 170 students returning in the first phase.
The special Air India flight left Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport for Srinagar in the morning.
The stranded Indians will be evacuated in phases.
As part of the first phase, six more flights of Air India will carry Indian nationals to Srinagar on May 12 and 13; Delhi on May 9 and 11; Mumbai on May 10, Chennai on May 14 in a span of a week with each flight carrying nearly 170 passengers.
The first flight to Srinagar carried stranded students from various medical colleges in Dhaka.
The Indian High Commission in Dhaka was in constant touch with the students and resolved their various issues like food, lodging and finance in close cooperation with the principals of the medical colleges who have been "most generous" with their support at this difficult time.
High Commissioner Riva Ganguly Das was present at the airport to see the first batch of Indians off leaving Bangladesh and interacted with them.
Wishing the students a safe journey back home, the High Commissioner reiterated the government of India’s commitment to the welfare of its citizens abroad.
The High Commissioner said she was particularly pleased that the young students would be able to go home before Eid.
She advised the students to follow health protocols after reaching India.
The students thanked the High Commission for its efforts towards evacuating them.
The government of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has commenced the biggest repatriation exercise ever with “Vande Bharat Mission” to bring back Indians stranded abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This includes many Indian nationals who had travelled to different countries before the lockdown on various purposes such as employment, studies/internships, tourism, business, are stranded abroad.
Apart from the above cases, there are other Indian nationals who need to visit India in medical emergencies or death of a family member, according to the Indian High Commission in Dhaka.
Vande Bharat Mission is a "mammoth logistical exercise" that involves integrated approach, meticulous planning, complex coordination and implementation between Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of External Affairs and the State governments.
The Ministry of External Affairs has deputed nodal officers for most of the states for the evacuation exercise.