“They are 1600 Kms away from homes; people are not letting Indian students board the trains,” says parent of a student stuck in Ukraine

“Ukrainians are providing food to their country’s people and not to Indians,” shared parents in True Scoop’s Exclusive talk.

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The forces of Ukraine are indulged in an intense fight with Russia. Hundreds of Indian students from Punjab are stuck in Ukraine. These students are waiting cluelessly to be rescued from the war-torn country. India has launched Operation Ganga to evacuate stranded students.

But the question is – Are the authorities really able to help them? What is the ground reality?

In True Scoop’s Exclusive talk with families hailing from Punjab, a reality check of the situation can be ascertained as to how the students are getting treated in the warzone. Our team contacted 15 families; they shared their experiences with us.

Pukhraj Singh is a second-year student of MBBS stuck in Kharkiv, Ukraine. His father said, “Pukhraj and his friends are going to nearby towns by foot as no public vehicles are available. Food shortage is a serious issue. Embassies in Ukraine are not responding to any of our messages, rather, district authorities are in touch with us.”

Jasmine Kaur’s father said that students are leaving at their own risk. They are roaming from one place to another in a group. On being asked about how you will manage their further studies, he said, “Ministers are saying that only dumb students go out of the country, but this is not true, on the basis of NEET they were given admission in those universities. We are paying 30-40 lakhs of fees and still listening to all these stupid things.”

Videos of several students are surfacing on the internet. They can be seen pleading to the authorities for help. Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday expressed confidence that every Indian stranded in Ukraine will be brought back home safely as the government is making every effort in that direction.

Are these statements good enough to satisfy parents of stranded students in Ukraine?

Yogesh Kumar’s relative, shared, “he is stuck in Kharkiv and embassies are not responding from Ukraine, but DC office calls daily. We wonder what kind of paperwork they are doing, our child can’t come himself until they will go and instead arrange something for them.”

“They are 1600 Kms away from homes; people are not letting Indian students board the trains. Indian students were getting badly treated in Ukraine.” On being asked, “Is the Government asking for any charges to bring them back?” they said, “No, they are bringing them back free of cost, till now, no charges are being asked by them,” said Yogesh’s relative.

On contacting Sunit’s family, resident of Jalandhar, his father shared, the government is not demanding any money for bringing them back. They are in Romania so the situation is quite better there but border areas are extremely disturbed. Sunit is a fourth-year student of MBBS. His father said that once the situation gets better, Sunit will go back and complete his remaining education in Ukraine.

“Pratham Sharma, Ishaan Sharma and Vanshika Sharma from Punjab are currently in Romania. They are staying in a shelter home and getting everything there. A lot of students are there. We are able to contact them, they are currently in a Church and food and other basic things are available there,” said their relatives.

Rushali’s grandfather, said, “She is in Poland at present. I request the Central government and other officials to provide good facilities in India so that we don’t need to send our children abroad for further education.”

Apart from these, Hemant, Nitin Arora, Bhaveeshya Sandal, Niharika, Kunwar Saggu’s families were contacted. They also shared the same problems. Food and cold are the prominent issues. Ukrainians are providing food to their country’s people and not to Indians. They are not able to get proper shelters, therefore, spending their nights on roads.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a high-level meeting on the evacuation of stranded Indian nationals from war-torn Ukraine. Over 4,000 Indian students will be evacuated from Romania, said Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia. He said that six flights were operated from Bucharest to India on Wednesday. Similarly, six flights each will be operated on Thursday and Friday.

According to the recent details collected by the Punjab Government, more than 500 students from Punjab are stuck in Ukraine.

Till now, 45 students from Amritsar, 42 students from Gurdaspur, 36 from Patiala, 34 from Ludhiana, 30 from Tarn Taran, 28 from Hoshiarpur, 23 from Barnala, and 22 each from Nawanshahr, Kapurthala and Mukatsar Sahib districts are stranded in Ukraine.

Apart from them, 21 students are from Bathinda, 19 are from Pathankot, 18 are from Rupnagar, 17 from Mansa, 12 from Faridkot, 10 each from Ferozpur and Mohali. Moga has 9 students stuck in Ukraine, while 8 are from Malerkotla, 6 from Fatehgarh Sahib, 5 from Fazilka and 4 from Sangrur.

District authorities are compiling passport details, current address and contact details of the students stuck in Ukraine. This is being done in order to pass the same details to the Union government to bring the students back to their country safely.