With Russia announcing a military operation in Ukraine, thousands of stranded Indian students are pleading with the Indian authorities for a safe return to India.
In view of the deteriorating situation, many students have shared posts on social media platforms seeking help from the Indian government.
The plight of Akshit Kumar, who is studying medicine in Ukraine, is no different.
Akshit, a resident of Noida – Sector 118, had booked a flight ticket to return home following an advisory by the Indian government to leave Ukraine, however, his flight was cancelled as the crisis escalated into war.
Akshit’s father Rajesh Kumar told NDTV that the family had planned a grand celebration as Akshit was expected to arrive on Friday – his birthday, but now the flight is cancelled and the family is concerned about Akshit’s safety.
The family is in constant touch with Akshit though phone calls. Mr Kumar said the escalating situation is hampering students’ access to food and water in Ukraine, adding that there are long queues outside ATMs.
Akshit told Mr Kumar that he has taken refuge in a bunker along with several other Indian students and they are coordinating with the Indian embassy officials for immediate evacuation from the war-torn country.
The family has requested the government to facilitate Akshit’s safe return.
According to officials, there are about 20,000 Indians currently stranded in Ukraine and a large chunk of them are medical students.
In a fresh advisory on Saturday, the Indian Embassy in Ukraine has asked the Indian citizens not to move to border posts without coordinating with mission officials.
The embassy advised Indian travellers to carry their passports, cash other essential items and COVID-19 vaccination certificates to the border checkpoints.
The Ukrainian airspace has been closed for civil aircraft operations since the morning of February 24 and therefore, the evacuation flights are operating out of Bucharest and Budapest.