‘Future Is Completely Shattered’: Indian Medical Students Who Fled Ukraine to Supreme Court


Mar 29, 2022


Image Credit: The Supreme Court of India/ iStock

Indian students who were studying medicine in Ukraine had to flee the war-ravaged country to save their lives. But now, their education — and by extension, their future — is endangered. Bereft of any other option, the students have knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court, urging the government to set up provisions that will allow them to continue medical education in India.

“An abrupt disruption to their academic schedule has put their careers in a pile of ambiguity and is in question,” reads a plea before the country’s apex court. “The future of the rescued students is in quandary and is completely shattered. Although the lives of such students were secured, the wrecked hopes of the students regarding their future [and] career continue to aggregate thereby causing distress and fraught in the fragile young minds.”

Their plea notes that, at present, there is no provision for Indian students, who had to discontinue their abroad, to pick up where they left off after returning to India. “The students are left with no other alternative except to recommence their education from level [one] of the respective degree,” the plea notes.

This has left the students feeling helpless and rudderless. But given that a situation like this may neither have arisen earlier nor been foreseen, it is, to a great extent, understandable that provisions weren’t put into place for it. But now that the situation has arisen, the endeavor is to find a way to accommodate it.

In pursuance of that, ever since the students were able to safely make their way back to India, several petitions have been filed before the courts by them seeking some form of redressal for their grievances, LiveMint reported earlier this month.

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To send them abroad, The parents of many students had mortgaged their properties to take education loans — hoping that would secure their children’s future. Unfortunately, however, the war on Ukraine has put them in double jeopardy: on the one hand, they have to continue paying back the interest on the loans; on the other, students can’t attend college despite the financial burden their parents undertook.

“A lot of Indian students studying in Ukraine have been displaced from their medical universities and are forced to leave behind their medical courses in between and this war has caused the Indian medical students huge financial, mental, physical hardship including academic breakdown,” another plea states.

This week, K.K. Venugopal, the Attorney General for India, noted that 22,500 Indian students were evacuated from Ukraine by the Indian government of India. At present, Venugopal added, the government is looking into ways that will allow the students to continue their education.

Until then, their tussle for infrastructural and academic support to continue their education, will, perhaps, continue.

For now, the future of Indian students who had to make their way back to India — after being forced to give up their education in favor of saving their lives — continues to bear a question mark.


Written By Devrupa Rakshit

Devrupa Rakshit is an Associate Editor at The Swaddle. She is a lawyer by education, a poet by accident, a painter by shaukh, and autistic by birth. You can find her on Instagram @devruparakshit.


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