Home India This 24-Year-Old Pilot from Kolkata Rescued 800 Indian Students Stranded in Ukraine

This 24-Year-Old Pilot from Kolkata Rescued 800 Indian Students Stranded in Ukraine


On the one hand, the Russia-Ukraine war is leaving a deep scar on humanity in its wake while on the other hand, people are risking their lives to do their part in saving people in the war zone. One such example is of Mahasweta Chakraborty, who has flown to the war-ridden land to rescue the vulnerable, and thus, emerged as an icon of humanity amidst the crisis.

As part of the ongoing evacuation operation (OpGanga), Mahasweta Chakraborty, a 24-year-old pilot from Kolkata, has successfully flown six flights to India and brought 800 stranded Indian students safely back to their homeland. She operated four flights from Poland and two from Hungary between February 27 to March 7, 2022.

Describing her experience during an interview with the leading Indian daily, the Times of India, she said that she packed her bags and left for Istanbul within two hours of receiving a late-night call from her airline (IndiGo) that informed her of the rescue operation she was to take up immediately.

“It was the experience of a lifetime, rescuing those students in their late teens and early twenties, many of whom had fallen sick and had traumatizing tales of survival,” Ms. Chakraborty was quoted as saying. She also talked about the desperation of these students. She said, “We offered them food and beverages, but they didn’t even want to drink water. All they wanted was to go home.”

While India is proud of Mahasweta Chakraborty for placing service before self, the young woman says she is proud of having played her part in their (800 Indian students’) journey back home. “But the real heroes are these young students who fought hunger, thirst, death threats, extreme weather and career uncertainty in their bid to escape the war-torn country,” she added.

Ms. Chakraborty was also a part of the Vande Bharat Mission initiated by the Indian Government to repatriate stranded Indians when international travel was banned due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. She also transported oxygen concentrators machines from abroad as well as COVID-19 vaccines to Kolkata and other cities from Pune.

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