Surviving in war is a miracle: Indian students stranded in crisis-hit Sumi in northeastern Ukraine said it was a “miracle” to escape the war and were now feeling “relieved” to reach Delhi on Friday morning.
Dheeraj Kumar, a sixth-year medical student at Sumy State University, said he was happy to see his parents at the Indira Gandhi International Airport.
“We have gone through unprecedented challenges in Sumi. Surviving the war for 13 days was a terrifying experience. To me, it feels like a miracle to return alive in my country.” Kumar told PTI that he touched the feet of his parents, who had come from Chamba in Himachal Pradesh to pick up their son.
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Kumar also thanked the Government of India and the Embassies in Ukraine and Poland for helping them in their evacuation and safe return to India.
“Our government supported us a lot. They did everything to bring us back. I am relieved to be back here,” Kumar said.
Traveling hundreds of miles across Ukraine using multiple modes of transport, the students were evacuated from the war-torn Eastern European country after two weeks in crisis-ridden Sumi.
After facing an arduous journey to escape the war-torn region, he was evacuated on a second attempt from Sumy, which has seen heavy shelling and intense shelling since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine last month.
Another medical student in Sumy, Mahima Rathi, a native of Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, said she had to run to wholesalers every time the siren went off.
Rathi said, “Whenever the sirens sounded, we had to take shelter in the bunkers. We were all very scared as we never knew that we would be able to escape and return safely. After returning to India, we are now at ease. “
An Air India flight from Razzow, Poland carrying 240 students evacuated from Sumry landed in Delhi on Friday morning
Officials said the plane took off from Razzo at around 11.30 pm (IST) on Thursday and landed in Delhi at 5.45 am on Friday.
India has sent three flights to Poland to bring back a large final group of 600 students evacuated from Sumi. Another plane is expected to land in Delhi around 8.40 am, officials said.
The Indian government is conducting a challenging evacuation exercise under Operation Ganga to help stranded Indians leave Ukraine.
The drive to evacuate 600 students from Sumi began on Tuesday morning