Good to be home in Mysuru but I miss my Varsity, friends in Ukraine
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Good to be home in Mysuru but I miss my Varsity, friends in Ukraine

February 25, 2022

Forced to flee war-torn Ukraine, medical student Priyanka returns to city just before shelling began

Mysore/Mysuru: Air India special flights from Kyiv in Ukraine have landed in India and those on board were mostly students who were returning after the Indian Embassy in Ukraine issued advisories to leave Ukraine temporarily. But even days before the evacuation started, there was a mad scramble for tickets and the airlines jacked up prices. Priyanka Guru Mallesh, who came back to Mysuru just before Russia began pounding Ukraine, told Star of Mysore that they were confused about what next as the crises started building up.

 Though her family expressed relief and joy after she landed safely, Priyanka terribly misses her University and friends and is praying for their well-being. “I really want to go back,” she said. Priyanka is pursuing her MBBS second year at Bukovinian State Medical University (BSMU) — one of the largest higher educational establishments in Chernivtsi.

This University is the first choice for Indian students to study MBBS in Ukraine. There are over 3,000 Indian students studying at BSMU and overall there are more than 20,000 Indians in Ukraine.

Returned on Feb. 23

“I went there in December 2020 and it was my second home. I was forced to flee and I returned to Bengaluru on Feb. 23,” she said. Priyanka opted for a private airline Air Arabia and her transit was at Sharjah (UAE). From there, she came to Bengaluru.

 “All the flights were full and we were not getting the bookings. I got one by sheer luck,” she said. She had to pay Rs. 54,000 one way from Kyiv to India while the normal charge is Rs. 27,000.

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Priyanka used to stay in western Ukraine (Chernivtsi) that shares borders with Moldova and Romania. “We were told that we were not under threat. But there was a blast in Ivanov and this place is very near to Chernivtsi. In fact, I was in Ivanov in January,”  she recalled.

Priyanka Guru Mallesh

Confusion and panic

Many Indians have opted to come back. “I got the communication from the Indian Embassy last Sunday to return if I wanted to and then the rush for flight tickets began. I contacted my family members and decided to return. We were confused due to panic. Even without the permission of the Embassy, many students began booking tickets to return home,” she narrated.

“I waited for the Embassy for communication and also for the University to confirm the continuation of online studies. Till now we were having offline classes and we waited till the Embassy contacted us,” she said.

“Right now we are having online classes but I am not sure about that either. The teachers are facing internet issues and classes are being cancelled. I am keeping my fingers crossed. More than me, it is difficult for students to pursue fifth or sixth course. Their future is at stake,” she rued.

Emotionally attached

“I am emotionally attached to the University and desperately want to go back. It is not an easy task to be here as it is emotionally, physically and financially draining. India is my motherland but I feel that Ukraine is also a part of it as that country is supporting me. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has told us that each and every person staying in Ukraine are the citizens of that country. This speech was very emotional for all of us and we truly believe that nothing should happen,” Priyanka hoped.

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“Ukraine has its own history, culture, heritage, language and entity. People are very proud about their culture and language and this is injustice by Russia. We studied Ukrainian history in our first course and theirs is a unique culture and must be respected,” she added.

Priyanka’s father Guru Mallesh is a businessman and mother K.K. Reena Kumari was a former medical transcriptionist. Priyanka has a younger brother, Mahabala and the family lives in Srirampura.

8 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Good to be home in Mysuru but I miss my Varsity, friends in Ukraine”

  1. Questo says:

    Indians go every where, leaving over populated India. Medical course in Ukraine?
    Indians in massive numbers swamp countries outside India.

  2. Questo says:

    The Western media are saying by non-condemning Russian aggression, Modi, tactly supports the invasion.
    She would not be welcome back ti Ukraine.

  3. P.N.Rao says:

    I can understand how Priyanka and her friends feel due to this unpredicted and sudden development. War is anti-human and no human was sent to Earth to wage wars and lead a life of greed, disharmony, and arrogance. Though Russia is India’s friend, I don’t support its actions against Ukraine. LIVE AND LET LIVE IN PEACE. We must respect the CREATOR. Your thoughts are right Priyanka.

  4. swamy says:

    It is pity that our students going to study medicine in Ukraine. It seems to be cheaper to study in Ukraine than in Karnataka(20 lakhs as opposed to 1 crore in Karnataka). A big drain in foreign exchange. Hope Indian government do something to provide cheaper education here in India.

  5. Questo says:

    @swamy
    A doctor aspirant entering medical college without merit, is danger to patients, as that person by virtue of the absence of learning is going to be a menace to patients. Only In India, doctors from private colleges are churned out in so many numbers. No wonder, patients who can aford go to Singapore for treatment.
    To fork out that much money means, always money laundering of ill-gotten wealth.
    She went to Ukraine, believing that a medical degree there will get her into USA. In Western countries, there are exams and tests, before a foreign doctor is admitted into serving in hospitals.
    P<Modi by supporting Putin and Russia has destroyed hid credibility in the West and Ukraine. Indians are already looked upon with suspicion,as Russian agents in Ukraine. Shame on Indians and Modi

  6. Prakash.R says:

    @Qwesto.. are you the real Questo or the duplicate one? I don’t want to waste my time in replying without knowing if you are the original or the duplicate!

  7. Questo says:

    @Prakash
    Post what you think without replying to any one.
    You have been wasting your time with rants about piped gas supplies, favouring LPGs, accusing Mr Shenoy about receiving kickbacks from the company which is entrusted with the piped gas structure, without disclosing your interests in the company which supplies LPG cylinders. Piped gas has been used all over the world in almost all countries. Grow up. It is a great project, as Mr Shenoy says.
    Now about Ukraine. Ukraine medical colleges have been admitting students from third world countries, who can pay hefty USDollars. There are Somali, Nigerian, and students from other African countries whose parents can afford-that means like Indians, they have money to launder. You only need to do research to find out. But like the piped gas case, you are not interested. These students are all running away from Ukraine.

  8. Mann Ki Baat, Bisi Bele Baat! says:

    Hello Prakash
    I have been reading your posts supporting the LPG cylinders use favouring it instead of the planned piped gas infrastructure, which every civilised nation uses. You do not mind wasting the time in posting the above, given the paper bag with Rupees from the LPG distributors, one would ask!
    Posts need not be replies to any one, if your brain cells can grasp as still you can make the points. Keep enjoying that cash mean while! BTW, Shenoy has some achievements. You, on the other hand?
    I recommend Bisi Bele Baat to cool the anxiety about the piped gas!!

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