"Every day, we wake up to the sound of bombs and shelling. We have been facing problems since day 1, bombing is not stopping, there is destruction everywhere," says Hemanth Kumar, a medical student stuck in Ukraine.
Many Indian students are stuck in Ukraine as uncertainty looms large across the country. Many SOS groups from India are trying to evacuate Indian students from Ukraine, including NGOs and other private organizations.
Rema Menon, founder trustee at 'Save The Future trust' told us that the situation is horrible, students are not getting food, and when they try to step out, it's bomb shelling everywhere. Recently, the curfew has been relaxed, so students are trying to buy food from the stores, but it took more than 2 hours to get the food due to the excessive rush. Atm's in Ukraine are empty, cards are not working, hotels are asking for money.
Rema says, "I have been volunteering for many years. In Ukraine, many students have been stuck in war zones. Parents are terrified of the current situation. As an organisation, we are trying our best to evacuate them and reach them through our groups and sources. We have many volunteers working day and night to get students out of Ukraine or reach a safe destination".
Here is one of the letters shared by a student's parents in a WhatsApp group 'Save the Future Trust' asking the Indian Government to help evacuate their children from the place that has become a war zone. The letter has been addressed to S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, GOI.
Medical students stuck on the Ukrainian border sum up the desperation of reaching home in face of firing and explosions. Their phones are dying fast, and they are worried about their lives. Many students have also complained that the Indian Government and Indian Embassy in Ukraine are not responding.
Hemanth Kumar, a medical student from V.N Karazin medical University, is currently in Ukraine looking for an escape with 13-15 medical students. All the men, along with Hemanth, were scheduled to take a flight on February 24, 2022, but later they were there has been an attack at the airport cancelling all fights.
Hemanth says, "While we were on the bus, in the mid-way, we heard that Kyiv airport had been bombed. We were heartbroken, as we had no place to go, later we contacted the people trying to help us. The Indian helplines have asked us to stay in hotels. Paying for the hotels and food is too expensive as the funds keep getting low day by day, and we don't know how long we would manage."
As per students, they were promised by the Indian Embassy they would provide them food and shelter, but nothing was given; there was no response. There are a lot of helpline numbers, but someone rarely responds. Contacting the embassy is extremely difficult, But recently, they told students to reach the railway station safely as the train services are free to get to the western borders.
Students had to reach the stations all by themselves, risking their lives; between the bombing and the war zone, no transport was provided to them to get to the railway station.
Ayushi Smridhi Sinha, 22, an Indian student, is living in bunkers. Along with Ayushi, other 30 students are living under challenging circumstances.
We talked to Aditya Sinha, brother of Ayushi, "the entire family is extremely tense about Ayushi, she is stuck in Kharkiv and living in Bunkers. She is so terrified to step outside because of the bombing. There was the incident when she stepped about for food, but when she realized that the Russian army was approaching them, they immediately retreated out of panic. We are in constant contact with her, but I don't know how long it will take to get her home safely".
Ayushi was advised by the Indian Government to put an Indian Flag outside their Bunkers. They suggested that the Russian Army will recognize the flag and not harm the students.