January 29, 2020
New Delhi: India has become the first country to reach out to flood-ravaged Madagascar with operation Vanilla, deputing its ship INS Airavat to support the cyclone hit country. The ship is carrying five pallets each of victualing, clothing and naval stores along with three pallets of medicines.
The ship will reach the country on Wednesday to provide clothing, emergency food, temporary shelters, medical assistance and carry out transportation and evacuation of personnel using four large and two medium-sized boats.
Almost 92,000 people have been impacted by the flooding, and many displaced with loss of life. President of Madagascar has requested for international support. INS Airavat will be deployed to Antsiranana, a port in northern Madagascar for Humanitarian Assistance & disaster relief mission.
The Indian operation derives its name from “Vanilla” island nations of which Madagascar is part of. Madagascar along with Seychelles, Réunion, Mauritius, Comoros, Mayotte are known as vanilla islands since they grow this orchid in abundance.
Last year, Indian Navy had sent three of its ships to provide relief to neighbouring Mozambique which was hit by deadly cyclone Idai. INS Sujata, INS Sarathi and INS Shardul were sent to the south-east African country for humanitarian assistance and were able to rescue over 200 people.
India’s support to Madagascar comes even as last week India was the first respondent to the neighbouring Maldives to which it supplied 30,000 doses of Measles vaccines within 72-hours of the request by the country.