Several Indian students stuck in eastern parts of Ukraine, which is largely affected by the Russian military offensive, are facing a grim situation as it is difficult for them to travel by road to reach the western borders and move out of the war-hit country, one of the students returned to India said here on Tuesday.
A number of students evacuated from Ukraine arrived in Mumbai by an Air India Express flight from the Romanian capital Bucharest on Tuesday morning.
Talking to reporters at the Mumbai airport, one of the evacuees, Nishi Malkani said the university where she was studying is located in west Ukraine, where the situation is comparatively better.
“We hid in our hostels for a couple of days and then managed to reach the western border quickly. Thousands of students in educational institutions in the eastern parts of Ukraine are facing a grim situation as travelling by road from there is extremely difficult, she said.
“There should be more efforts to provide an access to those students for safe return,” she said.
Asked about her experience in the last few days, Malkani said, I had never thought that I will face a situation like this in my life. We were asked by our university administration to remain inside our hostels for four days.
We were close to Ukraine’s western borders, so we could cross over to neighbouring Romania quickly. The Indian embassy officials helped further and we could return home, she said.
She also claimed there were “some militants” on her university campus in the last few days, but the students were not harmed.
Poorva Patil, another student who came back from Ukraine on Tuesday, thanked God for the safe return.
She was also pursuing an educational course at an institution in west Ukraine.
“I feared for my life, but by God’s grace, I am back home. It is a big thing for me, she said.
Narrating her experience in the war-torn country, Patil said, First, we were asked to stay inside our hostel rooms and were later sheltered in bunkers. It was severe cold with temperature around 2 degrees Celsius. We travelled almost 10 km by hiring a bus to reach near the Romanian border.
She has been exhausted after facing such a difficult situation. “My feet are swollen, Patil said, adding that she received good support from the Indian embassy officials in facilitating her safe return.
Some of the other evacuees also said that many Indian students were still stuck in Ukraine and were in need of support.
Union minister Narayan Rane, who received the students at the airport here, said, As many as 182 students have returned to Mumbai today. It was the fifth flight organised by the Union government under ‘Operation Ganga’.
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