It has been a week since Russia invaded Ukraine. Each day, the situation escalates in the region, becoming a global catastrophe. The ongoing crisis has kept the world on its toes, looking at the events unfold with bated breath. Everybody is uncertain about the future as fear grips them.
The innocent civilians are at the receiving end of it. The Indian students studying in the country did not anticipate the crisis to become extremely deadly, not just the Ukrainian citizens. Around 20,000 children have gone to Ukraine for educational purposes, 18,000 are studying Medicine.
As the conflict rages on, the students evade heavy shelling and bombardment to keep themselves safe. The Indian government has taken necessary measures to rescue them from the various borders in Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and Moldova. Under 'Operation Ganga', around 12,000 have left the country, and many have returned home.
While many students have reunited with their families back home, they cannot help but feel uncertain about the future. There is no clarity as to whether they will return to Ukraine and continue their studies, or will this be a distant dream?
Daunting Dilemma About Leaving Ukraine
For the students in Ukraine, the invasion proved ominous for the community. As the pandemic woes were at an all-time low, several universities resumed offline classes. However, the situation worsened as the conflict escalated.
Falguni Dhiraj, a second-year medical student from Ivano-Frankivsk, told The Logical Indian, "When the war intensified, the college held online classes for 15 days. However, they resumed offline classes again and told us that the situation is similar to that of 2014 and we do not need to go home."
Lately, many Indians have criticised the students for not promptly obeying the government's advisory. In light of this, Falguni explains, "Our university did not give us permission to go back. If we skip any class, we will be heavily penalised. It was not easy for us," she adds.
The circumstances took a turn for the worst when the violence gained momentum. The students felt helpless as their appeals to the college authorities went to deaf ears. Eventually, 12-15 people arranged a private vehicle to the Ukraine-Romania border. Battling difficulties, she reunited with her family in Delhi.
'Will Have To Go Back For Studies'
Slowly and steadily, scores of children are coming back home amidst the conflict. Relief is an understatement in such circumstances. However, the uncertainty looms over the Indian students. There is no clarity about the future, both in terms of the ongoing crisis and their studies.
Falguni Dhiraj's college has suspended both online and offline classes until March 12. However, she would prefer to go back to Ukraine to continue her studies once better. She knows that it will take a lot of convincing for her family to support her decision.
"Talking about our career, we have to return to the university. Our MBBS course cannot be restricted to online classes. Looking at the situation, many families will not allow their children to go back to Ukraine to continue their education. But, I am hopeful that the crisis will be resolved in time. I will convince my parents to let me go back once the situation improves," she continues her conversation with The Logical Indian.
An Uncertain Future Amid War
The situation is worse for those in the penultimate years of their Medical education. With the classes discontinued, their degrees are on the line as the students fear that they may not complete their course.
A Jaipur-based doctor, who graduated from Ukraine in 2020, spoke about her junior's plight. In a conversation with The Logical Indian, she shares, "Looking at the invasion, medical education may undergo a complete overhaul. However, all of this will take time in every way. It's an agitated situation. I have juniors in their 6th year of MBBS, and they are apprehensive. If they do not have the degree, they will not be able to take the MCI Screening Test."
Currently, the future is bleak, and it is marred with difficulties and has zero clarity. All the students pray for their classmates to return home safely as many are still stranded at the borders.