Ds Scholarship

Indian students stuck in Ukraine

Meanwhile, PTI, quoting a senior official, reported on Thursday that the Ministry of Civil Aviation has lifted restrictions on the number of flights between India and Ukraine under the bilateral air bubble arrangement to facilitate travel of Indians.

Shaan said the advisory had caused more panic than relief, especially back home. “When the advisory was released, our families and relatives were extremely worried. Studies are important, but life is more important. If something bad happens, then who will take responsibility for our lives? We don’t have any words to describe how disappointed we were with the advisory.”

What Mohammad Khurram, 21, was upset about was that the embassy had rendered students’ stay not essential in the country. “What does not essential mean? We have exams in two months. Neither the embassy nor the university has given us any assurance about the safety of our documents and uninterruption of our education in case something goes wrong.”

Khurram recalled the experience of a friend who was in his third year at Lugansk University in 2014 when the Crimean annexation took place. The university was on the border between Ukraine and Russia. “At that time, it was difficult for him to contact the embassy and eventually he lost all his documents in the university. After the war, the university released some documents and the embassy helped him get enrolled somewhere else, but he had to start again from the first year from Kharkiv Medical University. This was a waste of time and money.”

Tabish is worried that the same could happen to them. “Universities in Ukraine are not giving us any assurance about what they will do in the event of war. All they care about is the money. They had a meeting with foreign students on February 14, before the advisory was issued by the Indian embassy, ​​and they said that we should clear all our debts and only then they will let go of our documents.”

What do the students expect?

Khurram said, “We need clear advice about whether we should leave Ukraine or not. The embassy needs to send a notice to the universities telling them that all Indian students need to leave the country and also that the exams would take place online. At the moment, the director has told us that classes will happen in the online mode, but we will have to return for the exams. How can I come back in two months?”

Another 23-year-old student from Rajasthan who wished to remain anonymous said that he was in his final year and he had no idea about what to do. “I am in the final year of my studies and there is no information about our final exam and our degree…our visas will also expire in July and we are not sure if the situation will get better or not. What will happen to our degree?”

Shaan said, “We have not any clarity from anywhere, not our university, not our embassy. I just feel totally lost.”

Ateequr Rahman, 22, who is from UP’s Lucknow and studying at Odessa Medical University, said, “We need a statement from the Ukrainian Education Minister that classes will be conducted online or even just a clarification that they won’t expel us…we also I want to request the Indian Embassy to lower the fare prices.”

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