“We are in a bunker, two floors below the ground. We can neither hear the sounds of the bombings nor see anything outside. There is no power, but we are safe,” Reddy Nomula Satya Sreeja of Visakhapatnam told The Hindu in a voice choked with emotion as she spoke on a WhatsApp call from war-torn Ukraine on Thursday night.
Ms. Sreeja is pursuing her first year course in medicine in Kharkiv National Medical University (KNMU) in Ukraine. Her father R. Arjuna Rao is a businessman and mother Varalakshmi is a housewife. Ms. Varalakshmi broke down as this reporter called her on her mobile.
“We were initially told that chartered flights would be operated to India. Later, we came to know that they were cancelled. Our university authorities have assured us of our safety, but our parents in India are worried. We want the Government of India and the Government of Andhra Pradesh to do everything possible to take us back home,” Ms. Sreeja said.
“Our university has around 2,000 Indians, including about 700 students from the two Telugu States. We were given breakfast in the morning, but after they they gave us water bottles only. We have biscuits with us,” Ms. Sreeja said when asked about the position of Indian students.
“Ms. Sreeja had joined the university in Ukraine on December 8, 2021. She told us that she was safe in a bunker,” her younger sister, Sushma, who is doing her Intermediate, said.