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Future uncertain, but Indian students happy to be back from war-hit Ukraine

Mumbai, Feb 27 (PTI) The Indian students from Ukraine, who landed here by the first evacuation flight of Air India, are happy to have returned safely but are also anxious about future as the war has disrupted their education.

The Air India flight AI-1944, carrying 219 passengers from Bucharest, Romania, arrived at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport here at 7.50 pm on Saturday.

“I was a little worried when it all started. But, I am now happy to be back in the country. The Indian embassy and Indian government helped us a lot,” said a medical student who went to Ukraine last June.

Another medical student, who was in the second year of his course, said he was confident of returning safely.

“I want to go back (to Ukraine), but the situation is deteriorating there. I may have to take online classes now,” he said.

A medical student from Maharashtra said he was very happy to be back. “But, I am not sure how my future will pan out after this,” he said.

Union minister Piyush Goyal was at the airport to receive the Indian nationals returning from Ukraine, which is reeling under an invasion by Russia.

“From day one, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was worried about all our students, every Indian citizen, and wanted all of them safe, secure and back to India,” Goyal told reporters.

“I am really delighted that our first batch of students has returned…219 young boys and girls from all over the country, from Himachal Pradesh, down south, from Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh have arrived. Students from all over the country have been taken care of,” he added.

The Air India flight had left from Mumbai for Bucharest at 3.38 am Saturday and landed there around 10.45 am (Indian Standard Time). It departed for Mumbai at 1.55 pm (IST).

The Ukrainian airspace has been closed for civil aircraft operations since the morning of February 24 and therefore, the evacuation flights are operating out of Bucharest and Budapest.

Indian nationals who reached the Ukraine-Romania border by road have been taken to Bucharest by Indian government officials so that they can be evacuated in the Air India flights.

Around 16,000 Indians, mainly students, were stranded in Ukraine, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla had said on February 24.

The Air India will operate more flights to evacuate Indians stranded in Ukraine.

Prior to the closure of the Ukrainian airspace, the Air India had operated a flight to Ukraine’s capital Kyiv on February 22 that brought 240 people back.

It had planned to operate two more flights on February 24 and February 26, but could not as the Russian offensive began on February 24 and the Ukrainian airspace was consequently shut down. PTI IAS KRK GK GK

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

Source: The Print

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