DELHI: India is very concerned about the safety of the 700 students stranded in Sumy and is hoping that safe passage would be provided by both Ukraine and Russia for their evacuation.
"We are deeply concerned that despite our repeated urgings to both sides, the safe corridor for our students stranded in Sumy did not materialise," said India’s Permanent Representative at the UN, Ambassador T S Tirumurti while speaking at a Ukraine meet in the UNHC on Monday.
The worsening situation in Ukraine and ensuing humanitarian crisis deserves immediate and urgent attention. As per the UN’s estimate, 1.5 million refuges have sought shelter in neighbouring countries of Ukraine since February 24th. India has been consistent in calling for an immediate end to all hostilities.
"Our Prime Minister once again spoke to the leadership of both sides today and reiterated our call for immediate ceasefire and the need for both parties to return to the path of dialogue and diplomacy," Ambassador Tirumurti said adding that the the pressing humanitarian crises needs to be addressed expeditiously.
As per the UN’s estimates, more than 140 civilian lives have been lost so far, which also includes a young Indian student. "India mourns his death and we convey our deepest condolences to his family, just as we mourn the loss of each and every civilian life in the conflict," Ambassador Tirumurti said.
India has managed to facilitate the safe return of over 20,000 Indians from Ukraine, through 80 flights. Nationals from Bangladesh and Nepal have also been assisted to return to their respective countries.
"We note the joint launch of the Flash Appeal and the Regional Refugee Response Plan by the Secretary General on Ukraine. We hope the international community will respond positively to the humanitarian needs," Ambassador Tirumurti said.
On its part, India has already sent seven tranches of humanitarian supplies to Ukraine and its neighbouring countries. These include medicines, medical equipment, tents, tarpaulin, protective eye gear, water storage tanks, solar lamps, sleeping mats and blankets amongst other relief material. India is in the process of identifying other such requirements and sending more supplies.