By Krishna Kataria Project Research Associate, Maritime History Society (MHS)
When on 26 December 2004, Tsunami struck due to an undersea earthquake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra, within 12 hours the first Indian naval helicopters were in Sri Lanka with relief material. In the next 24 hours, two Indian naval ships were already in Galle and Trincomalee and three others had been dispatched to Male. And within a few days, the Indian Navy had converted two of its ships into hospital ships and sent them to Indonesia, which was the worst hit. Since then, the Indian Navy has played a leading role in being the first determinant in humanitarian operations carried out in the Indian Ocean littorals.