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Sunday, January 29 2023

Vijayapura: Student returnee blames Indian Govt for evacuation delay

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Vijayapura: Though the Indian students have returned from war-ravaged Ukraine, however, they believe that if the Indian Government had issued an advisory well in advance that was too clear and unambiguous, it would have helped thousands of students to return home without being stranded.

“Certainly, the Indian Government failed to issue a clear advisory in advance to the students to return from Ukraine. While other countries issued advisory and helped the easy evacuation of their citizens, India failed in that,“ said Vividha Mallikarjunmath, one of the residents of Vijayapura who returned from Ukraine on the night of Monday March 7. She said that when other countries had clearly told their citizens to leave Ukraine, the advisory of the Indian Government was unclear and confusing. “The advisory said that leave only if it is necessary else stay back. So we did not understand what to do. Whether to get out of the war-torn country or stay back. This confusing advisory also caused the delay in evacuation,” she said.

She also shot back at the people who were blaming students for the delay. “No one can blame the students for the delay in getting out of Ukraine. The students were only following the guidelines of the Indian Government which had issued a confusing advisory,” she remarked.

Vividha, however, said that the Indian Government swung into action seriously only after the death of Indian student, Naveen in the war in Ukraine.

“Naveen was our senior. He had ventured out only to get some groceries as the food was running out. Unfortunately, he died in the war which shocked all of us who had taken shelter in a metro station,” she said. Vividha said that the students received no help from the Indian Government in reaching bordering countries from places such as Kharkiv which was witnessing continuous bombing.

“All the students who were stranded had to make arrangements on their own. We were only told to reach bordering countries. While countless students walked for miles to reach the borders, many had to spend money from their pockets to arrange for a transport facility to reach bordering countries. It was only after reaching Poland that the officials of the Indian Government helped us in flying back to India,” Vividha said.

She, however, thanked the Indian Government for evacuating people from neighbouring countries even without any visa. Else the students would have faced a terrible situation to get out of a war-torn country without any visa.

With regard to her studies which have now been discontinued because of war, she made fervent requests to the Indian Government to make arrangements to continue her education in India itself. “Since the students cannot return to Ukraine now, the Government of India should come up with a solution to accommodate the students in Indian Medical colleges and help them in completing their course,” she said.

She, however, felt that the Government should also ensure that the cost of medical education in India should be made affordable which will prevent Indian students from moving to foreign countries to study. Similar was the views of her father, Allamaprabhu who believed that the Indian Government should bring significant changes in the fee structure prevailing in Medical education.

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Firoz Rozindar

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