News APP

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  gplay  » News » 'We can die in Russian bombing. Help us!'

'We can die in Russian bombing. Help us!'

March 03, 2022 19:31 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

'We request the Indian government that they send some buses urgently so that we can travel in groups and reach safety.'

Videos and photograph: Kind courtesy Shaikh Abrar, an Indian student in Sumy, Ukraine

Shaikh Abrar is a fourth year medical student at Sumy State University in eastern Ukraine.

Abrar hails from Baramullah district in Jammu and Kashmir. He is among the 800 Indian students who are trapped on the university campus while Russian missiles pound cities in Ukraine.

Sumy is 40 km away from the Russian border. All Abrar can hear is the sound of Russian jets and the explosions of bombs they drop.

Abrar spoke to Syed Firdaus Ashraf/ over the telephone and requested the Indian government to help him and his friends otherwise he warns these 800 Indian students will not survive for long.

Abrar's story in his own words:

For the past eight days, we have been stuck at Sumy University in eastern Ukraine.

Our city is 40 km away from the Russian border and we can reach there in 20 minutes, but there is no way for us to go outside.

There have been no guidelines by the Indian government or our embassy in Ukraine (for Indian students in Sumy).

It looks like no one is talking about 800 Indian students stranded in Sumy.

Everyone is talking about Indian students in Kyiv and Kharkiv and we are being treated as aliens.

We are running out of food and drinking water. We are boiling water to drink because we don't have access to clean water on our university campus anymore.

The only good thing is that we have electricity on the campus and so we can charge our phones and keep in touch with others.

We cannot step out of our university right now as there is a full-scale war going on.

We don't know whether the Russians are controlling Sumy or the Ukrainians are still fighting to keep control of the city.

The only thing we hear is the deafening sound of planes dropping bombs.

Unlike students in Kharkiv, who were evacuated by trains on Wednesday, we cannot be evacuated as we were told that all the railway tracks in and around Sumy city have been destroyed by Russian bombs.

We only have the option of travelling by road and the Russian border is a 20 minute drive away, but nobody from the Indian embassy has told us how to reach there.

Right now, we know for the fact that the Russians are destroying all private vehicles they are seeing on road. Therefore, nobody dares to take out their vehicles.

If we are provided with some buses, then all of us can surely reach Russia in 30 minutes.

We can be safe in 30 minutes, but till now there is no official update from the Indian government.

We are feeling helpless and frustrated because soon we will run out of food.

All our medicines are over and we need to keep them for emergency.

Some of us thought that we should show courage and go out to buy medicines, but the death of Naveen Shekharappa who went out to buy groceries in Kharkiv shook us.

Naveen's only fault was that he left his bunker to buy some stuff.

Everybody is living in fear now. No one knows for how long we will survive.

The worst fear is that we can die in Russian bombing if we do not reach our bunkers in time.

There is an airport too in Sumy city. If the Indian government sends a special plane to this airport, we can directly fly back to our country.

We cannot reach Western Ukraine's borders as it is 1,300 km away and the Russian troops are almost everywhere.

We feel the fastest and easiest way to reach safety would be to go to the Russian border.

We request the Indian government that they send some buses urgently so that we can travel in groups and reach safety.

Our parents and family members are constantly seeking updates and they are very worried about our situation. Nobody from the Indian government is telling them when the students from Sumy will be evacuated.

We just hope our prayers are heard by the Indian government and embassy.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox: