TS students’ evacuation begins in Ukraine

Ukraine forces escorting youngsters to safe border points at Poland, Romania, Hungary; Indian community does its part to help those stranded in eastern part.
Indian students hold up the National flag as they are escorted from Ukraine to the Romanian border on Friday. (File Photo)
Indian students hold up the National flag as they are escorted from Ukraine to the Romanian border on Friday. (File Photo)

HYDERABAD: Evacuation of Telangana students from various parts of Ukraine began on Friday morning, with the Indian Embassy ferrying students to Poland, Romania and Hungary in buses, escorted by Ukrainian armed forces.

The helpline number 8333871818 being operated by the Bharatiya Janata Party at its party office has received calls from 1,700 students in the last 24 hours. Rajashekhar Sharma, who has been handling the calls, informed Express that students from Telangana and other states were actively communicating with them.

BJP State president Bandi Sanjay Kumar has himself attended to some calls and tried to instill confidence in the students that all steps were being taken to bring them home safely.

Sharma said that students living within a radius of 30 km from the western border of Ukraine were instructed by the embassy to enter Poland, Hungary, and Romania, where they would be received by Indian officials and would be repatriated to India.

Moldova, which has welcomed the students to stay there as long as they wanted, imposed a condition that they couldn’t fly to India from there, but would have to go back to Ukraine once the war ends.

All the details of the students calling them were being communicated directly to the Indian embassy there, who have been carrying out the evacuation efforts. He said that students staying in Eastern Ukraine were facing an acute shortage of food and drinking water and that the Indian community there, was doing its part in ferrying the students and offering them shelter.

Surya Mani, from Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh in Ukraine, has also requested the distressed students to contact +380731008108 in Ukraine if they needed any help or information so that their nearest Sangh volunteer could get in touch with them.

The control room started by the State government at Telangana Bhavan in New Delhi has also received 150 distress calls, out of which 10-12 calls were from Ukraine. Officials have been communicating the details of the students to the Ministry of External Affairs and have also been communicating with the authorities at Zaporizhiya University, where 90 per cent of Telangana students were studying.

IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao tweeted to Union Minister for External Affairs Dr S Jaishankar, on Friday morning, requesting the Centre to operate special flights to Ukraine to bring back the students, assuring that the State government was ready to bear the full travel expenses.

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