Soram Bishanta and his friend reached Imphal from New Delhi on March 5, and were the first Manipuri evacuated from Ukraine and brought back home safely.
Imphal: Medical students from Manipur, who were studying in war-ravaged Ukraine, have started returning their homes safely. At least seven of them have returned home till Monday (March 7) under the ongoing evacuation operation and humanitarian assistance (Operation Ganga) following Russia's military offensive against Ukraine.
In an interview, Soram Bishanta of Nagamapal in Imphal West district narrated the difficulties during the escape from Ukraine with his friends. Soram Bishanta, II semester MBBS student at National Pirogov Memorial Medical University, Vinnytsya and his friends boarded a train to Lviv city without tickets and then travelled in a taxi for some distance towards Medyka bordering Poland. Their taxi was blocked midway due to exodus but continued the escape journey on foot to reach Medyka. They got separated due to heavy traffic congestion and exodus. Soram Bishanta and friend David Ningthouja from Lilong Chajing headed towards Medyka on foot.
After almost four days of starvation and walking for 25km, they entered Poland and were received by officials of the Indian Embassy. They got hassle-free entry into Poland and were put up in a hotel at Rzeszów by Indian officials before taking the flight to New Delhi.
The duo reached Imphal from New Delhi on March 5, 2022, at 2.30 PM. They were the first Manipuri evacuated from Ukraine and brought back home safely.
Three other medical students from Manipur Nikita Nongmaithem of Singjamei, Maibam Lemba of Uripok Sorbon Thingel and Takhellambam Omnis of Kakwa landed at the Bir Tikendrajit International Airport on Monday morning at 9.20. Union External Affairs Minister (MoS), RK Ranjan Singh, received the returnees at the Airport. He said the government is planning to accommodate the MBBS student returnees in Indian medical universities. He added that the government would also allow internships for those intending medical students with no conditions in the country.
"The government is making all effort with other neighbouring countries with Ukraine through the diplomatic channel to accommodate the Indian medical student returnees in their universities at the fees paid by the students at their universities in Ukraine," said the Minister.
He also informed that out of the registered 19900 Indian citizens, the government has successfully evacuated around 16000 under Operation Ganga.