Operation Vanilla: Know About Indian Navy Support to Madagascar

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Feb 24, 2022, 5:37

In response to Madagascar's national disaster, the Indian Navy launched 'Operation Vanilla' on January 28, 2020. This resulted in diverting a major amphibious ship to assist the affected people. The Indian Navy has begun this operation to aid Madagascar's inhabitants in the aftermath of the tropical Cyclone, Diane.

Additionally, the Indian Navy moved a huge amphibious ship, the INS Airavat, which carried clothing, medications, and other relief supplies to aid and support the relief efforts. INS Airavat was deployed in the Southern Indian Ocean. More than 92000 people were affected due to landslides and heavy flooding.

About Madagascar Island

Madagascar is an Indian Ocean island nation situated 400 kilometres from the East African coast. It is the world's fourth-largest island, and the first, second, third being Greenland, New Guinea, and Borneo, respectively.

Due to Madagascar and Comoros' strategic position, India has been attempting to integrate them into its Indian Ocean Vision. Seychelles and Mauritius, on the other hand, are members of the Indian Ocean Region division. Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar, and Comoros are African Union and Indian Ocean Union members.

Understanding Operation Vanilla

Indian Navy Ship Airavat arrived in Seychelles to assist Madagascar in every way possible. The INS Airavat carried five pallets of victualing, five pallets of naval goods, three pallets of medicines, and naval stores. 

The Indian Navy assisted the people of Madagascar with drinking water, emergency food, clothing, temporary shelters, evacuation-related aid, medical support, emergency transportation, and communication assistance.

"Operation Vanilla" is a component of the Indian government's 'Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR)' plan.

On May 19, 2010, INS Airavat was commissioned into the Indian Navy, one of the largest and heaviest naval ships in the Indian Navy. It can transport ten battle tanks, over 500 personnel, and eleven combat trucks.

Furthermore, the INS Airavat serves as a convenient landing zone for Sea King and Dhruv helicopters. Additionally, it is armed with two indigenous rocket launchers to assist amphibious operations.

Vanilla will be followed by the Maldives' Defence Minister's first high-level visit to India since India included the island in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

The visit is scheduled to focus on implementing a memorandum of agreement on defence cooperation.

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FAQs About Operation Vanilla

What do you mean by operational vanilla?

On January 28, 2020, the Indian Navy started 'Operation Vanilla' to aid and support Madagascar's cyclone-ravaged populace.

The Indian naval ship sent relief supplies, including blankets, food, clothes, and medications.

What's the location of Vanilla Island?

Vanilla Islands (French: Les Îles Vanille) is an association of the Indian Ocean islands of Seychelles, Madagascar, Réunion (France), Mauritius, Comoros, and Mayotte (France).

Why are they referred to as the Vanilla Islands?

The word 'Vanilla' is used since these nations are well-known for exporting vanilla. Madagascar is an island nation located around 400 kilometres east of East Africa's coast. Madagascar, a former French colony, is one of the world's least developed countries.

For which nation did the Indian Navy deploy Disaster Relief Operation Vanilla?

The Indian Navy has launched 'Operation Vanilla,' which provided humanitarian aid and disaster relief in the nation-Madagascar, after the tropical cyclone Diane.