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'With No Option, A Year Later, I Returned to Ukraine to Complete My Education'

We were hopeful that the Indian govt would do something for us. But there has yet to be a solution to our problem.

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Video Producer: Maaz Hasan
Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam

24 February 2022, the date I would always remember till I am alive. It was around 4 am when I heard the sounds of explosions, and the doors and windows of my room were shaking. 

I rushed out of my flat. Thousands of people had flocked to the streets, and I soon realised that Russia had attacked Ukraine. I was living in eastern Ukraine's Kharkiv city and was studying MBBS at VN Karazin National Medical University.

At the time when the war started, everyone was terrified. No one could understand anything then because it was the first time we witnessed sirens and such a huge crowd of people.

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'The War Impacted My Career'

I had come from India in January 2022.  It was only after one month that the invasion happened. In 2020, I lost my father in India. The year 2021 was a year of personal struggle. I was financially very weak. I am a student studying on an education loan. 

"One gets a loan on college tuition fees, and the rest of the other expenses, like living expenses, airline tickets etc. It had to be taken care of. That was a big struggle to overcome. I had somehow managed to arrange that money through saving and with the help of relatives. It was a challenging situation for me."
Dinsha Dubey, Indian Medical Student In Ukraine

I had come to Ukraine, after much struggle,  I was starting my studies and getting into a routine. Suddenly, I could not understand what to do when the invasion happened. This was a situation where I didn’t even know if I could get a degree on time. If I get the degree, will it be valid for all countries, including India? This is the biggest question for everyone, even now. 

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'The Great Escape From Ukraine'

We gradually learned that people here know what to do in times of war. We were hiding in the bunkers of our building. It became very suffocating, so we shifted to subways. In the subways, we used to get a bit of electricity and food was distributed. Then the Indian government started the Ganga Mission. 

We were hopeful that the Indian govt would do something for us. But there has yet to be a solution to our problem.

Students staying in bunkers when Russia attacked Ukraine in Feb 2022

(Image accessed by The Quint)

'I was living in Kharkiv. From my home, I had to go to the railway station, which was around 25 km. We walked 25 km to the railway station because at that time the taxis were not available, and the available cabs were too expensive. They were charging around $200 to $300.'
Dinsha Dubey, Indian Medical Student In Ukraine
We were hopeful that the Indian govt would do something for us. But there has yet to be a solution to our problem.

Railway station saw massive crowd when Ukraine was attacked.

(Image accessed by The Quint)

When we reached the railway station, there was a fight for boarding the train as per priority. They had set the order. First, Ukrainian women and children, then other Ukrainian citizens, and after that, Indian women and, at last, Indian men would board the train.

The train took 27 hours to reach Lviv. From there, we booked a van to the Hungary border, where Indian officials were present to rescue us.

We were hopeful that the Indian govt would do something for us. But there has yet to be a solution to our problem.

From Kharkiv, in Ukraine, Dinsha went to Budapest in Hungary from where she was airlifted by Indian Government. 

(Map credit: Google maps)

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'One Year Later, With No Options, I Have Come Back To Ukraine'

We were waiting that the Indian Government would absorb us in private colleges or government colleges or they would start a new institution for us. We were hopeful that the Indian Government would do something for us. Till now, there has yet to be a solution to our problem.

We were hopeful that the Indian govt would do something for us. But there has yet to be a solution to our problem.

Indian medical students studying in Ukraine demanding admissions in colleges back home.

(Image accessed by The Quint)

"I don't have an earning member in my family right now. So, I can't afford to go to another country for admission and to start my whole journey again. It's not feasible for everyone. That's why everyone is coming back to Ukraine. My university has shifted us to Ivano. My friends have come back, and my offline classes are going on. We’re studying here so that we can get a degree." 

If the war situation escalates, as everyone is saying it will, then I don't know if I will get the degree on time or not or if I'll have to return to India again. For now, I think that if everything goes right, I will get my degree on time, and then I will go back to India and start my career by clearing FMGE (Foreign Medical Graduates Examination). I am looking forward to it.

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(All ‘My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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