It has shattered the dreams of thousands of Indian students aiming to become doctors and has cost a fortune to their parents.
According to RB Guptapresident of Parents Association of Ukraine MBBS Students (PAUMS), as many as 15,500 Indian students, who were pursuing five-year MBBS courses in Ukraine, have returned after the war broke out.
Of these, around 2,500 students, who were in first year of the course, have decided to drop out while about 1,000 students of first and second years are pursuing online classes but their future appears bleak as this mode is not recognised by India’s National Medical Commission (NMC).
There are around 3,000 fourth and fifth year students, who have gone back to their universities in the war zone risking their lives to complete their courses.
Besides, about 5,000 have taken transfers to medical colleges in countries like Georgia, Russia and Hungary after taking permission from NMC, Gupta said.
Around 4,000 students, who had completed fifth year and left the oneyear mandatory internship midway after the war broke out, managed to complete their course in India following NMC’s approval to complete internship in any medical college of the country.
Gupta said majority students come from humble backgrounds and are pursuing medicine after taking loans either from banks or relatives.
The parents of students who dropped out had spent Rs 10 to 15 lakh as annual expenses for MBBS course in Ukraine. Now, they have joined different courses like BDS/BAMS/BHMS or paramedical courses in India.
ADelhi resident, 18-year-old, Grace Mariam Mathew, who had returned to India in February from Bukovinian State Medical University in Chernivtsi, said she was hopeful that war would end soon, and she would carry on her studies.
“But after a year, I have given up on my dream of serving people as a doctor,” said Grace, who has now taken admission in a private university in a paramedical course after losing Rs15lakh saving of her parents. Gupta said the students who took transfer to medical colleges in other countries had to shell out additional Rs 10 to Rs 15 lakh.
“The students who went back first took flights to Ukraine’s neighbouring countries Moldova, Romania and Poland and then reached their universities by road. These students are studying under the threats of air raids and missile attacks,” Gupta added.
He urged the government to accommodate these students in Indian medical colleges.
“Although we have filed a petition in the Supreme Court for their accommodation, there is delay in decision. Therefore, the government should take steps and save their careers,” he said.