Indians in Ukraine | National

In Sumy, students run out of food, water and hope

Indian students, evacuated from Ukraine, on their arrival at Kochi International Airport in Kochi on March 5, 2022.

Indian students, evacuated from Ukraine, on their arrival at Kochi International Airport in Kochi on March 5, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

Students in Sumy on Saturday said they were running out of hope after several days of promises on their evacuation through a "humanitarian corridor" and that continued bombardment in the city indicated there was no sign yet of a ceasefire for them.

The city also saw a blackout for most part of the day, leaving students without a means to cook.

"There is no water, no food, no electricity for the past two days and the bombings keep getting worse every passing day. Often bombs land a few hundred metres away from us," said Zara Azan.

Another student, Hitesh Kumar Gujjar, said there were sirens at least thrice on Saturday forcing students to rush to their bunkers.

"Today is the 10th day. Every day we hear that we will be evacuated, but that is yet to happen. We will soon be left with no option but to start walking to the nearest border ourselves. We would prefer to die trying to escape rather than die of hunger and thirst ," said Dushyant Siraw, who was echoing what a group of students said in a video threatening to walk to the Russian border armed with Indian flags amidst intense fighting in Sumy.

"The latest we have heard is that there will be an effort on Sunday to try and evacuate us. But this is not through official sources. If not tomorrow, we will lose all hope," said Ms. Azan.

Mr. Gujjar said though there was a water tanker sent for the students, it was not enough.

“We got one litre of water. How can one tanker for 700 Indian students and hundreds from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Nigeria be sufficient,” he said, adding that with no electricity, cooking on induction was not possible and students were making do with “biscuits and chips”.

Students say some of their friends are seeing their health deteriorate from exhaustion and scarcity of food.

"Several of my friends and I have fainted more than a few times. There is physical and mental breakdown. Many students are also experiencing asthma attacks, but inhalers and drugs or any medical assistance is just not available," said Ms Azan.

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2022 11:22:07 pm |