As the Russian military intensified their offensive on neighbouring Ukraine on Friday, Indian origin students stranded in the war-torn country, are running for cover as blasts and sirens continue to blare. The stranded students narrate their plight and unsafe status.
Students from Madhya Pradesh’s Morena, Saksham, Yogmaya and Vedant were turned away from Kyiv airport on Thursday after Russia began its attack on Ukraine. They are sheltered in a school campus within the Indian Embassy located in the area. “We have been given yoga mats to sleep but they are insufficient. We hear blasts continuously and wish our government bails us out shortly,” they said adding around 400 Indian students have stayed.
Another student who is a native of MP, Shivani who is staying with other Indian girls in Kyiv said they were instructed to move to a bunker or basement whenever an alert is sounded. Other than strike alerts, the Indian embassy is offering no help, she alleged. “Water bottles, ration and other essentials are in short supply in local stores,” she said adding the Indian embassy hasn’t specified on what to do next.
Stranded in Vinnytsya city, a student of National Pirogov Memorial Medical University, Hrishikesh Tripathi who is a native of Shahdol in Madhya Pradesh, was shifted to bunkers along with others on Thursday night fearing more strikes. Some took shelter inside metro tunnels. Tripathi and others claimed that these makeshift shelters hardly have basic amenities.
“At midnight, the siren blew and we left in a hurry towards bunkers with whatever edible items we can find on Thursday,” Hrishikesh said.
Student of the same medical university located on the Ukraine border, Rishika Khandelwal is also stuck inside her college since the air raid siren rang on Thursday. Her father, AK Khandelwal, based in Ashoknagar told the media that Rishika is stuck at the college with 800 other students. Anxious parents are losing sleep and keep contacting her to ensure that she is safe.
Parents are pinning hope to the Indian government on finding ways to bring back their kids from the trouble-torn country shortly. Students are also sharing videos of Indian youths waiting outside the Indian embassy and at local railway stations in large numbers.
Anxious families in other cities are also keeping a close watch on news channels besides making frantic calls to their kids 24×7.