Thirty-five students from Tamil Nadu headed out of war-struck Pisochyn in Ukraine in a bus on Friday evening, paid for by the Tamil Nadu Government.

The students are headed to Ternopil, a town in Ukraine that borders Romania, from where they hope to join the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

Keeping MEA in the loop

A senior Tamil Nadu Government official confirmed that the bus on Friday with the State government paying for it. This was also informed to the MEA this morning. The official added that this was a complementary effort to that of the Government of India.

The bus was arranged with the help of Dr A P Vijayakumar, who graduated from Kharkiv National Medical University, a few years back. Speaking with BusinessLine on Saturday, he confirmed that he spoke with two agents in Pisochyn and that the bus was arranged at around 3.30 pm IST. The students boarded the bus at 7.30 pm IST. The students who are on board have shared photographs from the bus with us. The bus had a stopover at Poltava on Friday night and the journey was restarted on Saturday morning.

Transportation cost

Dr Vijayakumar said that the cost of transportation was $500 per student, adding up to $17,500 for the 35 TN students paid for by the state government. The money was transferred to the agent through an Indian Overseas Bank account in Chennai. Students claimed that the bus also has a few other students from other Indian states. However, it is not known if the other students paid for the journey, out of their pockets.

Shahid Sharif, a first-year medical student of Kharkiv National Medical University and a passenger of the bus said, “I was really distressed, not knowing when I will get to leave Pisochyn. I hadn’t slept in days. I am really happy and I appreciate these efforts.” The student who hails from Madurai, added, “I cannot wait to be back home.”