Many Indian MBBS students back home, several others stuck in Ukraine amid crisis with Russia
On Tuesday night, around 200 came back and said that they and their parents were in panic mode and were compelled to book expensive tickets after being told by the Indian embassy to leave the country.
NEW DELHI: With the situation in Ukraine threatening to get worse, a number of students from India pursuing MBBS in the European country have returned home over the last week. On Tuesday night, around 200 came back and said that they and their parents were in panic mode and were compelled to book expensive tickets after being told by the Indian embassy to leave the country.
Aman Doharey (21) from Delhi's Nangloi, a third year student in Bukovinian State Medical University, says there was fear among Indian students. Parents back home were scared while watching news about war between Ukraine and Russia. Because of this, he bought a ticket for Rs 65,000. Usually, these tickets cost much less.
"When we got the notification, Indian embassy officials said tickets will cost around Rs 25,000. But we had to cough up much more. Officials told us to leave only a week back. Embassies of other countries were conducting evacuations from a month back," said Aman.
Around 20,000 Indians are studying MBBS in Ukraine. Every day, around 150-200 are coming back to India.
Vishwas Thakur, from Amritsar, a first year student in Kharkiv National Medical University, said many took loans and are not economically stable enough to buy expensive tickets. "Airlines offering cheaper tickets are taking the flights via a third country, which requires a transit visa which cannot be given in such a short time."
Vishwas said many of his friends are still in Kharkiv, a city in northeastern Ukraine.
Those who are coming back are also struggling to catch buses and trains to reach airports in Ukraine, said Dhruv Malhotra. "One of my friends is finding it hard to book bus tickets to the airport as there is heavy rush," added Vishwas.
While many have returned, several are stuck. According to 25-year-old Sooraj Kumar, from Ayodhya, a student of Uzhhorod National University, he cannot afford expensive tickets as he has taken a loan through the Kisan Credit scheme.
"My father is a farmer and I cannot spend so much again and again. During COVID, we took a flight back to India which cost Rs 50,000. I have friends who have spent Rs 70,000 on flights. But I cannot go back. I will wait for the situation to get better here," he added.