Jaden Pereira, 19, an Indian student from Benaulim, has taken refuge in a bunker with around 500 Indian students in Sumy, a town in eastern Ukraine just two hours away from the Russian border, since February 24 with no clarity on how the Indian government would evacuate students like him.
As Indian evacuation efforts focus on western Ukraine, South Goa resident Jaeden Pereira is waiting for his evacuation.
News of a 21-year-old medical student from Karnataka, who was killed in Russian shelling in Ukraine's Kharkiv on Tuesday, has exacerbated the panic of Jaeden's mother Anita Gomes Pereira here in Goa.
"We are constantly praying for our son to come to Goa safely. Even though we are in touch with him through the internet, we are still scared," she told Gomantak Times/
She further said despite the Indian government's efforts to evict Indian students, the question of how to evacuate them has become a serious one in the face of increasing bombardment. "Evacuation has become a major problem over there as all students need to travel from east to west," she said.
Another Goan student, Muskan from Vasco, has taken refuge in a bunker with 144 Indian friends in Kharkiv.
"We are in touch with both of these students. But war has broken out in both areas and it would be dangerous to get them out in such a situation. Therefore, officials at the Indian Embassy in Ukraine have advised that they should get to a safe area for some time in the current situation," said Anthony D'Souza, Anthony D'Souza, Director for NRI Affairs.
Meanwhile, three out of 17 Goan students who were studying in war-hit Ukraine have returned so far.