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Exclusive: Assam students stuck in Ukraine, urge govt to speed up evac process

By The Assam Tribune
Exclusive: Assam students stuck in Ukraine, urge govt to speed up evac process

Guwahati, March 1: From the dark corners of the basement of an apartment, Nilam Kalita from Golaghat's Dergaon, who is stuck alongwith five other students in Sumy town of Eastern Ukraine sought help from the Indian government to speed up the evacuation process for the safety of students as the situation has turned tensed after a missile struck near the regional administration building at Freedom Square in Ukraine's second-largest city Kharkiv.

As per the latest reports, an Indian student lost his life in shelling in Ukraine's Kharkiv this morning.

A panicked Kalita while confirming the report said that the boy died in a missile strike while he went out to buy some food. Kalita appealed for their immediate evacuation as soon as possible.

"A student from Karnataka has died in an attack today here in Kharkiv, there has been heavy shelling going on near a highway in Sumy we are concerned about our safety and need help," said Kalita while speaking to The Assam Tribune.

"We are surviving here in an uncertain situation, food stocks are over and we are unable to move out as there is heavy shelling going on. As soon as the siren blazes we rush to the bunkers. We are advised to stay away from the windows," Kalita added.

A fifth-year medical student, Kalita stated that the students have to move towards the west or some neighbouring country to escape from the war-torn country. "The students who are staying in Sumy and Kharkiv have to move towards the West, which is at a considerable distance of over 1300 kms. Although the railway lines are operating from different parts of Ukraine, it has been shut down from Sumy and Kharkiv, and by road, it is difficult to travel since a lot of roads and bridges have been destroyed in the conflict," Kalita said.

He also stated that the Indian students who have been evacuated, mostly belonged to the border areas, so they easily escaped to Poland, Romania and Hungary. "Since we are staying in the eastern part, it is difficult for us to move as Kharkiv is the most affected after Kyiv. We have not received any advisory yet about how to move about from Sumy," said Kalita.

While stating that the Indian Government is providing all the possible help, Kalita asserted that the process needs to be sped up as the situation is getting worse. He further informed that at present in Sumy 38 people from Assam are stranded. Among them atleast ten girls from Assam are stuck there who are not keeping well due to shortage of food and other living conditions.

"We are facing a lot of problems here, I request the Indian embassy to issue an advisory immediately so that we can shift towards the West," said Kalita.

Kalita also stated that in the border areas some Indian students were abused by the Russian soldiers. "In Kyiv, the military recently misbehaved with some of the students including girls. Even though it was said that vehicles which had an Indian flag will not be intervened, but here the situation is different."

Although the Government has initiated Operation Ganga for the safe evacuation of the Indian diaspora, but as per the stranded people the process is not up to the mark. They are panicked and desperate to escape from the war ravaged country.

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