India’s national tricolor came to the aid not only of the stranded Indians, but also of those who came from Pakistan and Turkey to cross to Ukraine’s neighboring countries.
The Indian students, who arrived in the Romanian city of Bucharest from Ukraine, said the national tricolor helped them, as well as some Pakistani and Turkish students, safely cross the various checkpoints in the war-torn country.
The Indian students came to the Romanian city to catch the special evacuation flights being carried out as part of “Operation Ganga” from Ukraine’s neighboring countries. Air India, SpiceJet and Indigo are operating special evacuation flights.
“We were told in Ukraine that as Indians and with the Indian flag, we won’t have any problems,” said a medical student who traveled from Odessa in southern Ukraine.
The students shared how they bought spray paints in the markets to make Indian flags.
“I ran to the market, bought some spray paint and a curtain. Then I cut the curtain and sprayed it to make the Indian tricolor,” said one student.
They added that even some Pakistani and Turkish students passed the Indian flag checkpoints.
“The Turkish and Pakistani students also used the Indian flag,” said one student, adding that the Indian flag is of great help to the Pakistani, Turkish students.
The students from Odessa moved to Romania from Molodova.
“We booked the bus from Odessa and got to the Molodova border. The Moldovan citizens were very nice. They provided us with free accommodation, taxis and buses to get to Romania,” said one student. He further added that they would not have any major problems in Molodova as the Indian Embassy has already made the arrangements.
The students also expressed their gratitude to the Indian Embassy officials who arranged for their food and lodging while they awaited their return flight to India.
“When a student arrives here, they are first placed in suitable accommodation and provided with food while registration takes place while dates for evacuation are set,” the student said.
Earlier Monday, the Indian government dispatched four Union cabinet ministers to Ukraine’s neighboring countries to coordinate evacuation efforts after a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.