India has a lot to be proud of. Be it our rich history, or the new technological developments, be it the invention of zero or experiments like Mars Orbiter Mission, we have come a long way. One fact that everyone should know about India is that it loves peace. India as a country is so selfless that it isn’t only capable of protecting itself but also goes across borders to protect and fight for humanitarian causes. So far, India has taken part in 43 Peacekeeping missions with a total contribution exceeding 160,000 troops and a significant number of police personnel.
Here are the times when Indians went out of their way to help other countries in need.
1. Recent Operation Maitri by India helped Nepal during the bad times of 2015 earthquake
The April 2015 Nepal earthquake left Nepal in a difficult stage. As Nepal’s immediate neighbour, India was the first country to respond to the crisis, by providing relief within six to seven hours of the earthquake. The rescue team also involved Nepali ex-servicemen from India’s Gurkha Regiments for guidance, relief and rescue.
2. The Indian Air Force managed to rescue over 960 foreign nationals from 41 countries
Although the operation started to rescue Indians in Yemen, but the rescue team ended up evacuating nationals of other countries as well. The air evacuation started by Indian Air Force and Air India on 3 April 2015 from Sanaa. More than 4640 Indian citizens and 960 foreign nationals of 41 countries were evacuated. After Operation Raahat, 23 countries requested India to help them with similar rescue operations.
3. India’s intervention in the Maldives in 1988 saved the government there from being overthrown
This was called Operation Cactus which saved the government in Maldives. After this, the United States President then, Ronald Reagan expressed his appreciation for India’s action, calling it “a valuable contribution to regional stability”. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher commented, “Thank God for India: President Gayoom’s government has been saved”.
4. India was the first country to assist Sri Lanka during 2004 Tsunami
India was the first country to respond to Sri Lanka’s request for assistance after the Tsunami in December 2004. The Army also evacuated 430 Sri Lankan nationals from Lebanon, first to Cyprus by Indian Navy ships and then to Delhi and Colombo by Air India flights.
5. India helped in maintaining peace in Somalia in 1992
In 1992, Somalia faced a humanitarian crisis which resulted in the launch of UN’s Security Council Resolution 794. India, along with other countries maintained peace in the regions affected.
6. Indian Armed Forces lend a hand to Korea in 1950-1954 to help the injured
India provided a paramedical unit of 17 officers, 9 JCOs and 300 other ranks to facilitate withdrawal of sick and wounded in Korea. Lt-Gen. K S Thimmayya was appointed as the Chairman of the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission . India also provided a custodian force to the country under Major General S.P.P. Thorat which included 231 officers, 203 JCOs and 5696 other ranks.
7. 39 Indian Contingents laid down their lives in Congo during 1960-1964 for the withdrawal of Belgian troops
Two infantry Brigades composed of 467 officers, 401 JCOs and 11354 other ranks and a flight of 6 Canberra bomber aircraft of the Indian Air Force participated in the operations to maintain law and order. 39 personnel of the Indian contingent laid down their lives. Capt GS Salaria was awarded the Paramvir Chakra for action in Katanga, Southern Congo.
8. India bravely fought Pakistan in 1971 for the independence of East Pakistan, now Bangladesh
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on 27 March 1971 expressed full support of her government for the independence struggle of the people of East Pakistan, now called Bangladesh. We, as a country played a big role in their Independence.
9. India aided Sierra Leone to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence during 1999-2001
India provided the country with two Infantry Battalion groups, two engineer companies, a Quick reaction company, attack helicopter unit, medical unit and logistic support in addition to sector HQ and Force Headquarters staff to maintain peace there.
10. India lend a hand to end the Rwandan Civil War
An Infantry Battalion group, a signal company, and engineer company, staff officers and Military Observers were provided. Total of 956 from all ranks took part. Brigadier Shiva Kumar of the Indian Army was the third and final Force Commander of UN troops who served in Rwanda from December 1995 to March 1996.