On Tuesday, on its first stop, INS Kesari offloaded 580 tonnes of essential food items sent by India to the Maldives, under “Mission Sagar”. The food material was handed over in the presence of High Commissioner of India to Maldives, Sunjay Sudhir and from the Maldives side there were the Foreign Minister, Abdulla Shahid and the Defence Minister, Ms Mariya Ahmed Didi. According to the Indian Navy, the INS Kesari was deployed in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region ‘SAGAR’ and its Neighbourhood First policy.
The `Mission Sagar’ is being coordinated by the Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Defence and other agencies and comes close on the heels of Operation Samudra Setu which has been launched to repatriate stranded Indian from several countries across the globe.
Till date around 900 Indians have been repatriated onboard INS Jalashwa and INS Magar and more will be coming back on these ship in the next round.
India and The Maldives
Both countries are close maritime neighbours and have a strong defence and diplomatic relations.
On the arrival of the food grains in the island nation, Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in a tweet thanked Prime Minister Modi for the gift of essential food supplies.
The foreign Minister of that country has called it “India’s `Ramazan gift’ to the Maldives”.
What has India sent?
Onboard the INS Kesari there were 580 tonnes of food supplies which have been offloaded. These include rice, wheat flour, sugar, yellow dhal, onions and potatoes.
Helping hand to fight COVID-19
India has also sent dispatched doctors and paramedics with essential medical supplies last month to help the IOR nation fight against the spread of COVID-19.
Under Operation Sanjeevani last month Indian Air Force had airlifted 6.2 tonnes of medicines to the country held in various cities in India. India has also helped in evacuating nine Maldivians out of Wuhan City, China.
As reported earlier, the Maldives is the first destination of India’s Mission Sagar, under which medicines and essential food commodities will be supplied by New Delhi to four Indian ocean countries including –Maldives, Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros and Seychelles.
Repatriation from the Maldives continues
Later this week on May 15, INS Jalashwa will turn around from to Male to Kochi port and carrying Indian nationals from Kerala and Lakshadweep. Also, air India flights have been planned from the Maldives to Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Chennai.
In the second round INS Jalashwa is going to get back around 700 Indians.