Bishwa Bharti, a resident of Greater Noida West and a final year medical student in Ukraine, was among 240 Indian students who returned to India on Sunday, February 27, 2022, from the war-ravaged country by Air India’s evacuation flight.
The 25 years old Bishwa Bharti is a student at Bukovinian State Medical University in Chernivtsi in western Ukraine, which is about 550km from Kyiv. Bishwa says, “I came to India on Sunday noon at about 2.45 pm, with 240 fellow members. Earlier, I had a flight on February 24, however, I couldn't board it after the attack on Kyiv. I will always remember that day. It was horrifying. I went back to my university which is 550km away from Kyiv. It took me around 20 hours to reach my hostel."
Bishwa shared that there were about 140 Indian students in two buses while returning back to her university. She tells that the food shops there are all closed and only a few basement shops were open. Bishwa says, "In the bus, there was no food and no water. All shops are closed. With a lot of effort, we found a few basement food stalls. However, bread and other food items were sold out. Few leftover chips and biscuits were there. Moreover, all the washrooms were also closed."
On February 26, 2022, about 240 Indian students including Bishwa and her fellow members from Bukovinian State Medical University had a flight to India from Romania. Indian medical students of the university took a bus arranged by student contractors to the Ukraine-Romania border, about 40km away.
Because of heavy traffic congestion, the journey was more difficult for the students as their bus dropped them about 10km away from the border. “We walked for about 9km to reach the Romanian border. On reaching, the Indian embassy in Romania immediately got in touch with us and we were taken to Bucharest. We reached the international airport on the morning of February 26,”
Bishwa adds, "There are about 7,000 Indian students stuck in Kharkiv and there are about 5 universities where Indian students study. One of my college friends was also stuck in Ukraine. I called him yesterday however, now his phone is switched off and we all are worried.”
In Kyiv, Bishwa spent about 20 hours. Bishwa shares that all the students are worried and anxious. Bishwa reached the Indira Gandhi International airport in Delhi at 3 am on Sunday, February 27, 2022 and was received by her family. She says, “I feel very relaxed after coming home. The situation is becoming more horrifying with each passing day. I consider myself lucky to be able to return home.”
Now that Bishwa is safely back home, one more worry lingers around her head, that is, of getting her degree. As she is a final year student, Bishwa is worried about whether she will get her medical degree if the Russian troops take over. About this matter, she says, "Even if the war goes ahead, we will get our degree. The staff of the university will remain the same. The war won't take any toll on our studies and degree. At least that is what I hope."