Indian Navy Launches ‘Operation Vanilla’ To Aid Disaster-Hit Madagascar

Operation Vanilla: Indian Navy on Tuesday launched Operation Vanilla in its effort to support the people of flood-hit Madagascar.

Indian Navy said, ‘As the first respondent, Indian Navy Ship Airavat, which was en-route to Seychelles has been diverted to Madagascar for rendering assistance.’

With Operation Vanilla, India has become the first country to reach out to flood-ravaged Madagascar. New Delhi has deputed its ship INS Airavat to support the cyclone hit the country carrying five pallets each of victualing, clothing and naval stores along with three pallets of medicines.

INS Airavat is an amphibious assault ship and its missions also include humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR). India’s assistance to Madagascar is in consonance with Indian Navy’s Foreign Cooperation initiatives in line with Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Security and Growth for all in the Region (SAGAR)’.

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 bloody storm 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.

With Inputs From AlJazeera, CovaiPost