As thousands of Indian students stranded in Ukraine try to return home using land routes out of the country, a young woman’s video has been widely shared, including by Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. “Please, Jai Hind, Jai Bharat, please help us,” says the student.
As Russian forces continue their offensive in Ukraine, Indian students are being taken to Ukraine’s border with Romania, Hungary and Poland by buses, from where they are being flown home by Air India flights.
Garima Mishra, who says she is from Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow, appeared to be in panic as she claimed no one was responding to her calls for help. “We are surrounded from all eyes…no one is helping and I don’t know if we will get any help,” she said.
“Where we are staying, people come, they create a disturbance and try to come in, we can’t understand what is happening.”
Bits and scraps of information floating around seems to have compounded their desperation as they wait.
“We were told that Russian soldiers stopped some of our friends who had gone by bus to the border. They fired at the students and jut picked up the girls. We don’t know what happened to the boys,” said Garima.
She is in tears as she says: “We used to see this in movies. We thought we would be saved…but now it doesn’t seem like it…Please send someone by air to help us. Send the Indian army, otherwise we don’t think we will be able to go from here…We are not safe at this place.”
With folded hands, she pleads: “Please, please help us. Jai Hind! Jai Bharat! Whoever is watching, please share this video.”
…@narendramodi जी, @DrSJaishankar जी यूक्रेन से आ रहे भारतीय छात्र-छात्राओं के वीडियो मन को बहुत ही ज्यादा व्यथित करने वाले हैं। इन बच्चों को भारत वापस लाने के लिए जो कुछ भी बन पड़ता है , भगवान के लिए, वह करिए। पूरा देश इन छात्र-छात्राओं और इनके परिवारों के साथ है।…1/2 pic.twitter.com/PfmBw8McLY
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) February 27, 2022
Priyanka Gandhi, in her message on the video, said such accounts were deeply painful. “For God’s sake, do whatever possible to get these children to India. The whole country is with these students and their families,” she wrote, tagging Foreign Minister S Jaishankar.
“I appeal to you, the government should make all efforts to bring them back safe,” urged the Congress leader.
Many such videos of students have been shared by Congress leaders.
Russia launched an attack on Ukraine on Thursday morning and has been advancing to major cities. So far, capital Kyiv and Kharkiv have held out against the Russian forces.
Some 16,000 Indian students are believed to be in Ukraine. Many have shared photos and videos on social media from underground bunkers and bomb shelters where they have been hiding.