VIJAYAWADA: Amid the standoff between Russia and Ukraine, it has become an expensive affair for Indians in the Eastern European country to fly back home. The crisis has reportedly resulted in a sudden hike in airfares, by as much as three to four times, and is affecting hundreds of Indian students pursuing MBBS and engineering courses at universities across Ukraine.
From Rs 40,000 earlier, the prices of a ticket to Hyderabad or Mumbai from Boryspil International Airport, 26 km from Ukrainian capital Kyiv, have shot up to Rs 1 lakh-Rs 2 lakh due to the unexpected surge in demand, Indian students there reportedly told the Andhra Pradesh Telugu Non-Resident Society (APNRTS).
Meanwhile, the APNRTS continued its efforts to bring back Indians stuck in Ukraine and has got in touch with some to inquire about their safety. It might be recalled that the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) issued an advisory asking Indian nationals in Ukraine to return home immediately as Russia continued to move troops and weapons to its borders with Ukraine.
APNRTS CEO K Dinesh Kumar told TNIE: “Around 300 students are reportedly taking temporary shelter in and around Zaporizhzhia State Medical University and waiting for help. Most of the students, with whom we talked to, requested us and the Indian Embassy in Kyiv for repatriation and complained of the soaring air ticket fares. They expressed their willingness to leave the country as the situation is getting tense by the day due to a warlike situation between Ukraine and Russia.”
The APNRTS has already written to the MEA and the Indian Embassy in Ukraine twice since January.
“We got in touch with some students and got first-hand information from them about their safety and the prevailing situations in Ukraine. We are in touch with both the MEA and the Embassy and evaluating possibilities of airlifting the students or sending them to nearby countries, from where they can fly back to India,” Kumar added.
“We estimate that around 500 students from Andhra may have been stuck in Ukraine. We urge the parents to enroll details through the website so that we can reach out to their children as early as possible.”
Students, parents told to give details to APNRTS
APNRTS CEO K Dinesh Kumar urged the students and parents to furnish details to the APNRTS through WhatsApp hotline-8500027678 or website www.apnrts.ap.gov.in. Around 300 students are reportedly taking temporary shelter in and around Zaporizhzhia State Medical University and waiting for help, says the agency.