Indian nationals asked to fill up forms, go to Hungary

Hundreds of students including from Telugu states have been stranded in Sumy, Kharkiv and other places for the past 10 days

New Delhi: As the evacuation process under “Operation Ganga” enters its last leg, India asked all its stranded citizens in Ukraine to fill out forms and reach Hungary at the earliest. In two separate statements on Sunday, the Indian embassies in Hungary and Ukraine asked citizens to contact the Hungary city centre and also fill out a Google form on an “urgent basis”. In the Google form, the embassies have asked Indians to indicate their current location where they are stranded in Ukraine while urging them to “Be Safe Be Strong”.

The embassy in Hung-ary said, “The Embassy of India begins its last leg of Operation Ganga flights today. All those students staying in their own acc-ommodation (other than arranged by the embassy) are requested to reach Hungaria city centre, Rakoczi Ut 90, Budapest between 10 am-12 pm.”
The embassy in Ukraine asked all those who were yet to leave Ukraine to fill up a Google form urgently for their evacuation.

“We have teams at the Hungary-Ukraine border giving us information on how many Indians are crossing the border. Other teams are looking after accommodations, transport, etc. More than 150 volunteers are helping us,” said Rajiv Bodwade, deputy chief of mission, Embassy of India in Israel, deputed on special duty in Hungary.

However, the biggest challenge for India remains evacuating students from Sumy where more than 700 students are stuck without food, water, electricity under freezing conditions.

“Efforts are underway to evacuate Indian students from Sumy, arrangements are being made,” Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Sunday. Humanitarian assistance is being provided to the stranded students in Sumy by the Red Cross in coordination with the Indian World Forum and they are being provided with water and essential supplies. Ihor Shapoval, Red Cross coordinator in Sumy, visited the university campus and interacted with students coordinators and liaised for their early evacuation subject to a green corridor, Indian World Forum president Puneet Singh Chandhok said.
Union minister Gen. V.K. Singh (Retd) said Harjot Singh, an Indian national who sustained bullet injuries in Kyiv and lost his passport, will return to India on Monday.

The government said a group of 44 Indians who began their trip from Pisochyn are on their way to the Polish border from Lviv, while another group of more than 150 people have made their way to the Romanian border.

Russian ambassador to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzia told the UNSC there are 3,189 Indians in Kharkiv, 576 in Sumy. “In Russia’s Belgorod, 130 buses are waiting at crossing points ready to go to Kharkiv and Sumy to evacuate the Indian students and other foreign nationals,” he said. He added Russia is putting in place a plan to organise evacuation of Indians from Ukraine by creating safe corridors, providing security to them and accommodation and has proposed to organise 30 flights from Russia to New Delhi for evacuation.

Meanwhile, the Ukraine foreign ministry dismissed allegations that it is having unequal treatment of foreign students leaving the country and asked countries to be more proactive in taking out its people.

“We continue to prioritize supporting foreign citizens to leave Ukraine as safely and as quickly as possible. Over the past week, the government of Ukraine has assisted more than 130,000 foreigners to leave the country, including 10,000 Indian, 2,500 Chinese, 1,700 Turkmen and 200 Uzbek students. We call on diplomatic missions of other countries to be more proactive in joining our efforts to evacuate their nationals from the conflict zones, and keep regular contact with the ministry of foreign affairs of Ukraine,” the Ukrainian foreign ministry said.

Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said his government has arranged some trains for the Indians students and set up a hotline. The Indian government has said 21,000 Indians have left Ukraine so far out of which 19,920 have reached home.

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