Amid escalating Russian-Ukrainian tensions, 242 Indian students safely returned to India at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport late Tuesday evening and met their parents after India began operations to evacuation of Indian citizens living in Ukraine and its neighboring regions.
India has deployed B-787 Dreamliner aircraft to carry out this special operation under which flights have been made operational from Kharkiv in Ukraine to New Delhi.
Nirav Patil, a first-year MBBS student studying in Ukraine, said, “The situation is normal in the area where I live. Although the university has started online studies, so there is not much to worry about like before.
Another student, Krishna, said: “I live 900 km from the border between Ukraine and Russia. We are about five to six students, who reside in Gujarat. Our parents were beginning to worry. That’s why we had to go back to India.
Several government officials have also been dispatched by the Rajasthani government to Delhi airport along with Rajasthani students who have returned from Ukraine, the state government is preparing to send them safely home them by covering their travel expenses. At present, eight students and their parents have been invited to stay at Rajasthan Bhawan.
However, several Indian students did not return to India on an Air India flight.
Monika, a Chhattisgarh resident and fifth-year MBBS student, first flew from Kyiv to Doha and then flew back to Delhi. According to her, the air tickets were quite expensive due to which she came to India by taking other flights.
She did not express her opinion on the tense situation in Ukraine as many of her Indian friends are still stuck in Ukraine.
She said: “In some places studies were done online but in several other places offline studies are still followed as the norm. My parents were quite worried due to which I had to go back to India, but the situation in Ukraine is still normal.Now only if our parents ask us to go back to Ukraine then we will come back.
On February 19, Air India announced that it would operate flights between India and Ukraine on February 22, 24 and 26. Airline ticket booking is open through Air India’s reservation desks, website, call centers and authorized travel agents. According to the Indian Embassy in Ukraine, additional flights from Kyiv to Delhi will be operated on February 25, 27 (two flights) and March 6.
At the same time, many students who have returned to India are worried about their studies while some said they also recently saw a tank used in a war in the city where they lived.
Swati, who is a second-year MBBS student, on his return to Delhi said, “The situation is normal in Ukraine and I was leading a very normal life there. The people residing there are not at all worried about Russian-Ukrainian tensions. .”
“The reason why many students like me returned to India is because of my parents. They were very mentally disturbed and worried about my well-being. Now, since I returned home, our studies will suffer. too. But the university where I was studying will start to organize online courses. I have exams scheduled for next year.
Another student, Tanvi, who is studying at MBBS, arrived in Delhi and spoke about the tense situation in Ukraine, saying, “The situation is much worse in Ukraine, I am quite distressed. The children who study here live in fear, every day a different kind. news comes to the fore because we can’t judge which ones to believe. At the same time, plane tickets have also become quite expensive.
The students’ parents have also arrived at the airport to pick up their children, but are angry about the expensive plane tickets.
A relative, Ratan Singh, said: “The situation in Ukraine is absolutely normal, offline studies were conducted on Tuesday. My son is not at all worried about the general situation there, but most people in India are quick to spread rumors and fear.
“I have booked plane tickets worth Rs 60,000, but what will these parents do who cannot afford such amount of money? Indian government has sent several flights, but how will we be able to booking such an expensive plane ticket.Till Monday, plane tickets costing Rs one lakh were sold but after borrowing extra money from my relatives, I booked the plane ticket and called back my child in India,” he added.
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Posted: Wednesday, February 23, 2022, 12:06 PM IST