Tuesday, March 08, 2022

Students land in Doha after a narrow escape from Ukrainian war

Doha: Two batches of Qatar-based Indian students from war-hit Ukraine have finally landed in Hamad International Airport and New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport early morning yesterday after a harrowing experience that lasted more than 10 days. 

Braving fierce shelling, these students from Ukraine’s Kharkiv university spent nearly a week in transit which brought them to Lviv, a border city in western Ukraine, in a crowded train that took 20 hours and from there to the Hungarian capital Budapest by bus with another five hours journey. 

The group of students reached Budapest early Saturday but had to wait for another two days, before boarding flights to their respective destinations. Three female students took a Pegasus Airlines flight to Doha, while other students were evacuated by an AirAsia India repatriation flight, operated via Dubai that reached Delhi at 4.30am local time. 

Fathima Sharbeen, a first-year medical student at the V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University in Kharkiv, who landed in Doha yesterday, told The Peninsula the harrowing experiences and the struggle to get home as the bombs fell all around. 

“After a tiring 20-hour train journey from Kharkiv without food or even water we reached the Lviv border. To cross the border to Hungary was another hurdle as 300-plus students paid a large sum of money to reach the nearest town in Hungary. When we started the journey, the siren was heard as it was time to start the curfew. Fortunately, we were able to proceed unharmed,” Fathima said.

After entering Hungary they took a train to Zahoni, where they were given a warm reception by the local people who served food and basic things. “Only after reaching Budapest we saw Indian embassy people,” she said.

08/03/22 PK Niaz/Peninsula

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