Ukraine Crisis 2022: Many Indian students have been stranded in Ukraine amidst the ongoing Russia-Ukraine Crisis 2022. Students are anxious and scared about the war-like situation in the region.
With the declaration of martial law in the offset of the Ukraine Crisis 2022 yesterday, mobility has become impossible. In such a situation, the Indian Embassy has advised all Indian nationals in Ukraine not to leave their houses and to seek out the nearest bomb shelters if they hear air sirens.
Ukraine Crisis 2022 : Plight of Indian Students!
Many Indian students are in the worst condition. The students have shared their horrible conditions amidst the Ukraine Crisis 2022.
Animesh Kumar, a third-year-old medical student from Dhanbad, shares a video message requesting the Indian government to evacuate the Indian students as soon as possible. While the first blast happened, he was at the airport immigration counter, about to board his flight.
He recounts the chaos that ensued after the first blast, “As the bomb went off, I heard 3-4 bangs. It took a few seconds to understand what had happened. I had reached the immigration counter. I would have been on the flight soon after. But within minutes, everything turned to chaos. We didn’t get back our bags; we still don’t know where they are.” When we asked, a staff told me, “Are you mad? Just run” The embassy was not allowed to enter initially, though later the students got inside the building.
As the crisis escalates, the local shops have run out of food and the ATMs have run out of cash. Asif Khan, a medical student from Rajasthan currently studying in Uzhhorod, describes his situation “I went out and hunted for food, and all I could manage to get was one onion, and one kg wheat. My breakfast was one slice of bread without anything on it. The situation here is very bad. There is no fresh water supply and we are being told the electricity supply will be cut. It is so cold. How will we survive? What will we eat?”
Khan, the son of a farmer, says that he had no money to take a flight back home in such a situation, “We are students; we are the future of our country. What is the government doing with us? What are they waiting for? They should get us a flight, take us back home. How will we get lakhs of rupees?”
Sayan Chowdhury, a 23-year-old medical student studying in Ivano Frankivsk, describes the worrying situation, “Today morning around 5 am, there was black smoke throughout the city. I have gone out several times in the hope of withdrawing some cash but in vain. There are fights for groceries in the shop. There was a bomb blast just 5-6 km away from us. The US, UK all evacuated their people much earlier. What was our government doing? Why did they delay so much?”
He requests the Indian government amidst the Ukraine Crisis 2022 for an evacuation, “Flights right now are costing Rs 1-1.5 lakh. This is the fee for one semester here. How can middle-class students be expected to pay this much? The Indian government should evacuate us immediately, if not from Kyiv then Lviv. Even the US Embassy has shifted there so it’s a relatively safer place. Otherwise, it may be too late for us.”
One student also adds how the Indian Embassy in Ukraine has been dealing with the situation. Anurag Puniya, a fourth-year medical student at Kharkiv National Medical University in Ukraine, describes his predicament, “Many of my friends who reached the airport early morning for their flight were asked to leave and the airport was closed off. Now people are taking a bus, Metro, or walking back to the city.
The official advice by the embassy today morning was to return back to the places we came from. But there was a bomb blast in Kharkiv and my friends who are still stuck at the university tell me that the locals are also moving to the Western parts of the country and there is a huge jam on the highway. How can we go back?”
Back home, the parents of those students are confused and scared. Shaan Ali’s family and neighbours in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh, had been praying for their son’s safety for almost 24 hours. His grandma has been staring at the door and the phone, unable to keep back her emotions, hoping for better news.
The role of Indian Government amidst Ukraine Crisis 2022
Though the students are worried about the war-like situation(Ukraine Crisis 2022), the Indian Government and the Indian Embassy in Ukraine have given assurance. The Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India has sent teams to the land borders of Ukraine in Hungary, Poland, the Slovak Republic, and Romania to aid in the evacuation of Indian people stranded there. S. Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, tweeted informing that he has spoken to the counterparts in those places. The Ukraine Crisis 2022 has been the worst scenario after World War II at the global level.
Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla also stated that Indian Air Force aircraft is ready to be called into action in the event of an evacuation. He stated that out of the estimated 20,000 Indians in Ukraine, about 4,000 have managed to flee in the last two weeks.
According to sources, India is keeping a careful eye on the Ukraine Crisis 2022, with a special focus on the safety and security of Indians, particularly students. The MEA control room is being extended and made available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So far, the control room has received 980 calls and 850 emails.