NEW DELHI: As the minutes gave way to hours, a group of about 100-150 students from Danylo Halytsky Lviv National Medical University made the hard choice: fend for themselves as help from Ukrainian and Indian officials was nowhere in sight.
Given that staying back meant uncertainty, the group booked Uber cabs for the Poland border in groups of four and walked thereon to their destination. This, according to the students, was the last hope of getting out of the war-torn territory.
“Initially, we were walking towards the wrong route but redirected (on the proper road). We are walking as there is long traffic and a large number of Ukranians are trying to cross the borders and they are stuck in traffic for the last 10-12 hours,” said Sonu Kumar, a student of the Lviv National Medical University.
Till the filing of this report, the students were walking and stated that they will reach the Poland border in an hour. According to Sonu, most of them were first-year students. They have carried their belongings, mostly important books and clothing. “The network is bad and we have not been able to speak with our parents since morning but it is important to leave from Lviv right now,” Sonu said in a WhatsApp text.
The distance between Lviv to Poland border is around 80 km and the group had covered some 15 km on foot, he said. Vikram, a fourth-year student, said that another batch of 150-200 students will leave on Saturday morning. “While the Indian Embassy notified us that we can cross borders towards Hungary and Romania, we are far away from Lviv and are waiting for the embassy to confirm about the evacuation route for Poland,” he said.
“They have not confirmed if we can reach the Polish border but we are reaching there in the hope of saving ourselves. For Hungry and Romania, we will have to pay three times the fare of the cab. The distance is also three times as compared with Poland.”
Vikram said the Indian Embassy advised the students who wanted to cross the Romania and Hungary border to carry printouts of Indian flags and paste it prominently on vehicles and buses. They were also asked to carry passport and cash in US dollars.