Stranded in Ukraine, it’s a long journey to safety from medical students from Bengal

A mother in Barasat, near Kolkata, received a frantic call from her son stranded in war-hit Ukraine. “I’m stuck inside a bunker on our college campus,” the young man whispered into the mobile.

Abanti Bhadra got the call from her son Anindya, who is studying in a medical college at Vinnytsia in west-central Ukraine.

For the last seven days, the anxious parents were updated with the developments of the war-like situation in Ukraine. Anindya was hopeful that Russia would not invade Ukraine, but all that changed in the last three days as Russia hit Ukraine with its full military might.

Anindya told his mother that the small town of Vinnytsia wore a deserted look with only a few people seen in queues in front of shops to stock up their daily groceries.

Warning sirens sounded in and around the town. The students inside the medical college campus started calling up their parents to take advice as to how to get out of the war zone.

Anindya, 21, sent photographs from the bunker, and told his mother to show them to his father too.

Many stranded students have already reached India with the help of the Indian Embassy in Ukraine; many more are trying to leave the country as soon as possible.

Shibani Biswas, mother of Tiyasa Biswas, another medical student stranded in Ukraine, advised her daughter to move towards the Poland border in a rented car. But 14 km ahead of the border, their car was not allowed to advance. So, they resume the long journey on foot.

Anubhav Chandel, another student from Dum Dum near Kolkata, is also trying to reach the Poland border with four of his friends. Chandel said, “The journey may be risky but we want to get out of this nightmare.”

A few days back, a meeting was held between the students and the professors of the medical college to take stock of the situation and make the foreign students aware of the future course of action on the basis of ground reality.

An Indian Embassy advisory said that Indian nationals, especially students living close to the Romanian and Hungarian border checkpoints, are being advised to depart first in an organised manner, in coordination with teams from the Ministry of External Affairs.

Anindya’s parents are in touch with the state control room opened by the West Bengal government to help evacuate stranded people from the war-hit country.

20220227-141201

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