Shillong: At least 24 students from Meghalaya are waiting for instructions from Indian embassy officials to evacuate from war-torn Ukraine.
State Home (Political) Secretary, Cyril V.D.Diengdoh has written to the Secretary of Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) requesting assistance to evacuate students from Meghalaya who are stranded in Ukraine.
“I would like to bring to your kind attention that the Government of Meghalaya has received distress calls from the students/parents/guardians who are stranded in Ukraine due to the current war situation,” Diengdoh noted in his letter.
“The Meghalaya giver seeks the intervention of the MEA to take necessary action to provide necessary provisions and safe passage for their repatriation to India at the earliest,” he added. The 24 students, mostly who are pursuing their medical career in different medical universities are hiding at bunkers, while others have been asked to take shelter at a college basement for their safety.
“We are now waiting for the instructions from the Indian embassy to repatriate us to safer grounds. So far, no one from the (Indian) embassy has communicated to us,” Richie Kalra, a student of Zaporizhzhia State Medical University, told UNI over the phone. Kalra was supposed to fly back to India on February 24 but the airline cancelled it after the Ukrainian government shut down its air space.
“We don’t want to come out of hostel as we are not sure what is going to happen. We are here inside the bunkers. Our appeal to the Indian government is to evacuate us at the earliest. We only want to come back home and the situation is getting tense,” Kalra said.
Another student Daphibalahun Lyngdoh Mawlong informed us they were staying at the hostel all this while but following reports of an attack in a nearby city, the university authorities have sounded the alarm, compelling the students to rush to the college basement.
“We are waiting only for the Indian embassy officials to evacuate us. So far we are safe and sound but we want to be back home.” Mawlong added. Earlier, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma has urged the External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar to arrange for the safe return of students of the state who are currently stranded in trouble-torn Ukraine.
On Saturday morning, the first batch of Indian students left Ukraine for Romania and a special flight of Air India AI-1943 landed in Romania for the evacuation of the stranded Indians in Ukraine.