Sikkim student Abiskar Sharma, a MBBS student in Ukraine who returned his to home State on Sunday, considers himself as “lucky” to be on the last flight to Delhi on February 23. Their exit from the war-torn nation came a day before entire Ukrainian air space was closed following military attacks by Russia.
Ukraine became a no fly zone from February 24 morning with Russia bombarding its neighbour with missiles, artillery and airstrikes.
The youth from Majhitar, Rangpo and his three friends were wise enough to heed to warnings coming from Russia, the strongest statement that caught their attention was on February 21.
“My friend woke me up after that strong statement came and asked us to book tickets back to India. As it was the last week of the month, I did not have enough money to book a ticket. Luckily, my friend Abishek, who is from Bihar, had money for fees. He spent that amount to book tickets for four of us,” said Abiskar.
He was speaking with the press after landing at Pakyong airport on Sunday afternoon from Delhi on a Spicejet flight.
Sikkim Student Welcomed At The Airport
Abiskar is a second year MBBS sikkim student at Vinnitsya National Medical University, Ukraine. He was the lone student from Sikkim in that institute and was to complete his second year at the university this May.
Interestingly, Sikkim students Abiskar and his friends had booked the air tickets to Delhi for February 25. It would have been rendered useless as by that time, Ukraine and Russia was in a full blown war.
“We had tickets for February 25 but it got cancelled. There was no any postponement of the tickets but only preponment. We preponed the tickets for February 23. Luckily our fight was the last flight and after that all flights from Ukraine were stopped as it became a no-fly zone.
I was lucky that I returned home in the last flight from Ukraine,” said Abiskar.
Sikkim student Abiskar was given a warm welcome at the airport by his parents Bhim Sharma and Bindu Sharma, Pakyong district officials, Pakyong Airport authorities, Spicejet Airlines officials and Food & Civil Supplies department advisor Inchung Bhutia.
Sikkim student Abiskar shared that he is worried about of his friends including those from Sikkim who could not get out timely from Ukraine.
“When I left Ukraine there was not so much of bombing. I heard my friends from India were kept in bunkers for safety before they returned to India. I was worried about my friends and I was in contact with them.
I happy that today morning they have reached Romania border and I am thankful to Indian Embassy that they are looking after them and probably they will have their fight today back to India,” he said.
Sikkim student Abiskar added that due to the war, dreams of many students including him to serve the society as a doctor is at stake.
Meanwhile, Abiskar’s parents are relieved upon the safe return of their son.
“We were much worried after war started between Ukraine and Russia as our son was studying in Ukraine. We were in touch with our son. Luckily our son got last flight from Ukraine to India on February 23 and landed at Delhi next morning.
He stayed in Delhi for two days at his aunt’s place before returning to Sikkim,” said Bhim Sharma.
Sharma thanked the State government for assuring to bear the travelling expenses of all Sikkim students studying in Ukraine.
“The air fare from Ukraine was double during the last hours but money is nothing as our son returned home safely. Our only worry is whether he will be able to complete his course or not,” said Bhim adding that the parents have hopes from the Sikkim government on this aspect also.
Food & Civil Supplies department advisor Inchung Bhutia said: “We are happy that we received our first Sikkimese student at Pakyong airport returning from Ukraine and believe that more students would be returning soon. We are thankful to the State government for taking initiative to bring them back home.”
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