Russia-Ukraine crisis: Fear dominates students stuck in bunkers with little food, water

Amid the Indian government’s efforts to evacuate Indians stranded in Ukraine, Indian students stranded in the country have urged the Narendra Modi government to consider the limitations in travel they face while planning their evacuation efforts. He has urged the government to expedite the process as he feels that the situation is getting worse every hour.

“Only bread and jam is being provided by the agents and they will last us a week. We are involved in the metro subway because of the fear of air strike. So far the evacuation plan appears to be only for students in the western part of Ukraine And we are in the eastern side. To be honest we don’t have any update for evacuation. 30-35 metro stations are the same in this section,” said Nischal Chauhan, a medical student from Kharkiv, currently at 23 Sarpania metro station in Kharkiv Told ET.

An estimated 15,000 Indian citizens are stranded in Ukraine as the war begins. Most of them are mainly students pursuing higher studies in medicine and language courses. Meanwhile, 470 Indian students stranded in Ukraine amid the war are expected to reach Mumbai as the Indian government has already started its evacuation process. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said the safety of Indians stranded in Ukraine was his top priority. Indian embassies in Ukraine and neighboring countries are trying to bring students who have made it to the border through Romania, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia.

Akash Jain, in his fifth year of medicine at the Bogomolets National Medical University in Kiev, bought a ticket to India for 26 February, shortly after the Russian invasion. But Ukraine closed its airspace to civilian flights on 24 February. “They are telling us to reach the Hungarian or Poland border which is hundreds of miles from here… There is no transport available. The shelling is going on continuously. Whatever they do, they are involving students trapped in southern and eastern Ukraine. have come up with a plan to do so.” Vikas Gupta, another student at Kharkiv Oleksivska metro station, said groceries have run out. “We students living in the eastern part of Ukraine are in an unsafe area. The only processed beef is what we don’t eat. There’s a heavy bombing here but there are no reports of evacuations. We feel like we’re completely on our own.” ”

Shivam Ujjain, originally pursuing MBBS from Kharkiv National Medical College, said it was the third day of the war and there was limited supply of food and water in unheated metro subways and hostel basements where students are stranded. “Our studies had resumed from December as there was a decline in the Covid-19 cases. The students are afraid that they will not even be alive when the embassy reaches them as the war sirens are continuously sounding. Not just firing but There’s real bombing. People don’t go to bunkers when they hear sirens. They’re practically living there, packing all their stuff in school bags.”

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