Indian students stranded in Ukraine look forward to return

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Chaitraly Deshmukh

As many as 1200 students from Maharashtra and four medical students from Pune have been identified who have been stranded in Ukraine due to the outbreak of war between Russia and Ukraine. The students claim that they are safe but have appealed to return back to India due to trauma and crisis situations. While few Indians staying in Ukraine are acting as good Samaritans and volunteering in providing aid to such students by providing them shelter and food.

On Thursday, February 24, after the Russian military invaded Ukraine after a standoff created panic situation for many Indians stranded in Ukraine, as not only military personnel but many civilians succumbed to death in the attacks . 

In order to bring uniformity and collect the data of citizens and students stuck in Ukraine, the Pune District Collector Dr Rajesh Deshmukh has constituted a control room in the District Administrative office along with a helpline number to aid them.

All the district collectors have been directed to compile a list of students and citizens stuck in Ukraine. The team of officials are approaching various private agencies too to collect the data. 

As per the official data as many as 18 medical students have been identified from Ahmednagar, four from Pune, two from Mumbai and rest from Solapur and Nagpur. 

In the meantime, speaking to Pune Pulse medical students shared their ordeal.

Harshad Shaikh from Ahmednagar who went to Ukraine two days back said, “I came here with a lot of hopes to pursue education in medicine but I am broken. I do not know what to say but I just want to go back to India.”

Sakshi Satish Borate, a first year MBBS student from Pune said, “Our flights have been cancelled and our ATM cards are not working. In this critical crisis the currency is changing too and we are unable to fulfill our basic needs. We are not having enough money and neither can we buy anything properly from the market. We are safe but, in a trauma, and want to return back to India.”  

Vedanti Muley who is also a medical student said, “The stores are closed, we do not have enough food with us for our survival. We are panicking as none of our ATM cards are working as well as there is a huge queue at all the ATM centres to withdraw the money. Though we are in a protected environment and safe but we wish to return back to India.”

Kiran Gore from Ahmednagar said, “We had packed our bags to return to India but flights have cancelled. Going back to our homes is tough now as there is no transport available. We have made our own peer groups to help each other from Maharashtra and India. We all wish to come back as due to noise and the news that are reaching us about this area is horrifying us and family. We cannot see our parents being worried.”

Few good Samaritans named Sandeep Singh and Mukesh Kumar, businessmen hailing from India and currently staying in Ukraine are facilitating accommodation and food arrangement for the Indian citizens especially students. 

Speaking to us Sandeep Singh said, “We are hoping that the situation shall be under control soon.  We have made alternative lodging arrangements in one of the college hostel premises as well as food is arranged from a nearby cafe.” 

 Dr Mahendra Zaware who runs Doctor Educon educational consultancy in Ahmednagar said, “We are helping government to provide the records of students those are with us as well as our Indian teams that are in Ukraine is on field to help them and we also appeal to government to bring back our Indian citizens.”

BOX :  Helpline for Students and Citizens of India stranded in Ukraine

Pune District control room 020-26123371 or can email on controlroompune@gmail.com

Ministry of External Affairs Control Room on Ukraine 

1800118797 (Toll-free)

(i) Phones:

+91 11 23012113

+91 11 23014104

+91 11 23017905

(ii) Fax:

+91 11 23088124

(iii) Email:

situationroom@mea.gov.in

Embassy of India in Ukraine 24-hour helpline

24*7 Emergency Helpline:

+380 997300428

+380 997300483

Email: cons1.kyiv@mea.gov.in

Website:www.eoiukraine.gov.in

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