HomeUncategorizedHere's how Kolkata pilot Mahasweta Chakraborty rescued students from Ukraine

Here’s how Kolkata pilot Mahasweta Chakraborty rescued students from Ukraine

Kolkata: For 24-year-old Mahasweta Chakraborty, it was an “experience of a lifetime” to be part of government of India’s ‘Operation Ganga‘, which evacuated Indian citizens from war-torn Ukraine. The Kolkata-born pilot flew six evacuation flights — four from Poland and two from Hungary — between February 27 and March 7, according to Times of India.

She had received a late night call to join in the ‘Operation Ganga’. She packed within two hours and left. “I flew to Istanbul, two-and-a-half hours from Poland, from where we were instructed to operate the rescue,” said the alumna of Auxilium Convent. India operated 77 evacuation flights under ‘Operation Ganga’.

Also read: Evacuated Indian students from Ukraine’s Sumy reach Delhi

Mahasweta Chakraborty has been with her airlines, Indigo, for the past four years, and has rescued more than 800 Indian students from war-hit Ukraine’s Polish and Hungarian borders. Apart from Air India, Indigo and SpiceJet also joined in the ‘Operation Ganga’ to bring back stranded Indians from Ukraine.

A resident of Kolkata’s New Town, Mahasweta told in an interview with Times of India that her physical exertion after flying an Airbus A 320 for 13-14 hours a day was hardly anything compared to the hardship of the students. “We offered them food and beverage. But they didn’t want to even drink water. All they wanted was to go home,” said the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi graduate.

This isn’t the first time Mahasweta Chakraborty has been part of a mission. During the Covid-19 pandemic, she was also a part of the Vande Bharat mission.

“I am always thankful for the contribution I could make to society. 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. I doubt if I could have made it this far had I been in their situation,” she said.

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