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In Sumy university, stranded students melt ice for water

By SYED FIRDAUS ASHRAF
March 04, 2022 18:29 IST
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'There has been no help that has come from the Indian embassy till date. We have no idea when we all will be evacuated.'

IMAGE: People remove debris at the site of a military base building that, according to the Ukrainian ground forces, was destroyed by an air strike, in the town of Okhtyrka in the Sumy region, Ukraine, February 28, 2022. Photograph: Irina Rybakova/Press service of the Ukrainian ground forces/Handout via Reuters
 

It is day 9 of the Russia-Ukraine war and 600 Indian students are still stuck in Sumy with no help coming from anywhere.

Amidst Russian planes bombing in the city and war going on in the streets; the water supply in their university campus, where they have been holed up, has stopped.

The students are now forced to melt snow to get drinking water.

"We have no option but to do that. There is no water in the taps too," says Kuhu Katariya, a sixth year student of the Sumy State University in Ukraine.

"I don't know how we are going to survive without water. And what are we supposed to do without water?" Kuhu wonders.

The worst part, students said, is that there is no word from the Indian embassy in Kyiv for the students stuck in Sumy and for the last 24 hours the embassy's Twitter handle, which was very active till recently, has remained silent.

"There has been no help that has come from the Indian embassy till date. We have no idea when we all will be evacuated," says Kuhu.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Kuhu Katariya

A student of Sumy University, posting a photograph of him melting snow to collect water, wrote on Instagram: 'Evacuation? Not yet. Hopes? Lost.'

Some hopes were raised on Friday morning when an Indian journalist with a reputed television channel tweeted (extrenal link) that buses from Russia were reaching Sumy University to evacuate the Indian students.

Unfortunately, students said, that news was found to be incorrect.

Sumy is 30 km from the Russian border and all Russian forces that are heading to attack Ukraine are coming from that direction.

'There were huge explosions. We were terrified and we just took out our passports and ran to the bunkers,' said one of the girl students in a video posted (external link) by the All India Dental Student Association.

'There has been no specific evacuation plan for us. We only heard that Indian officials are waiting for us on the Russian border side, but we have no confirmation about this news. The Indian embassy in Ukraine is not issuing any advisory to us that we can travel to Russian border. Please help us,' said a student in the video.

A student from Sumy State University confirmed to Rediff.com that the girls who are seen appealing for help in the video that is going viral, are from hostel no 2.

'If we are not evacuated, Operation Ganga will be a big failure. Please help us,' added another student in the video.

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SYED FIRDAUS ASHRAF / Rediff.com
 
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