The students, who are studying medicine at Avicenna Tajik State Medical University in Dushanbe, have requested flights under Vande Bharat Mission.

Students strandedImage for representation
Coronavirus Evacuation Friday, May 29, 2020 - 12:28

Around 1,300 Indian students, who are stranded in Tajikistan for the past two months amid the COVID-19 pandemic, have requested flights under Vande Bharat Mission to take them home. These students are studying medicine at Avicenna Tajik State Medical University in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

Prabodh, a 5th-year student who graduated from the university says, “Only 283 students were evacuated as of 28 May, the rest are stranded here. It’s been one month since our college was closed, we have no online classes. The 5th-year students, who have graduated and have no role to play, are stranded here and just want to come back home.”

Under the Vande Bharat Mission, only two planes have been sent to Tajikistan which can evacuate around 300 students. According to the scheduled flight list of Vande Bharat Mission phase 2, there are no additional flights to Tajikistan till June 17.

“Students are scared to go outside even to buy groceries, no proper safety guidelines are being followed, people don’t wear masks when stepping out of their homes,” says Prabodh.

Prabodh adds that there is no complete lockdown in practice, malls are open, buses are running unlike in India where strict guidelines are being followed.

He further alleges that, “The cases are being under-reported here, it is getting worse day by day.”

A few students living in housing facilities allege that they are facing problems from their landlords.

Prabodh also mentions that they have sent multiple mails to Dr. S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs (MEA), requesting to evacuate the students since early May, but claims there has been no response so far. They have also mailed V Muraleedhanran, Minister of state for External Affairs and Harsh V Shringla, Foreign Secretary of India.

Prabodh adds, “Our Edutech company has requested the Minister of External Affairs and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation for private chartered flights through SpiceJet and Somon Air, which is Tajikistan’s private airline, but they have declined the request.”

They have requested for help from the Indian Embassy as well, who said that they are trying for additional flights. However, we haven’t got a satisfactory response from the Embassy, he adds. 

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.