“Kashmiri students stranded in Kyrgyzstan running out of money, essentials; being ignored by embassy”

Srinagar: Private Schools Association of Jammu and Kashmir (PSAJK) has called on the government of India and Jammu and Kashmir to reach out to the MBBS students of J-K stuck in Kyrgystan as they are facing immense problems due to scarcity of food items and cash.

The Association said that Kyrgystan is second most popular destination of Kashmiri students who want to pursue MBBS, but the local government has completely ignored this country. “According to our estimates there are around 500 students from J-K who are pursuing MBBS in various medical colleges in Kyrgyzstan. The number of students is next only to Bangladesh but ironically the country is not on the radar of our officials,” said G N Var president PSAJK. “Kyrgyzstan has announced lockdown to arrest the spread of coronavirus and they have vacated students from the hostels which have been converted into quarantine centres. Now our students are living in rented apartments with limited resources.”

The Association said that due to lockdown the students are unable to get the essential items. “According to our reports one of the students from Maharashtra was recently fined  for Rs 3 lakh for venturing out. This has created panic among student community. Due to closure of banks even ATMs have run dry in Kyrgystan and our students are unable to get cash for buying the essential items,” said Var. “They dont know what to do and whom to approach.”

The Association said that students are aware of the current situation and are not pressing for evacuation but need of the hour is to help them in Kyrgyzstan itself. “The students know that in current scenario of cancelled flights it is difficult to reach India. They just need help in the country itself. Unfortunately they tried to call Indian embassy in Bishkek many times but the embassy never answered their call. They have been left to fend for themselves in this lockdown,” said Var. “We request Indian government to direct the embassy to listen to the stranded students and help them in this hour of distress. It is very sad that the concerned embassy is not offering even moral support to these students.”

The Association appealed the Government of Jammu and Kashmir to take up the matter with relevant quarters at New Delhi so that some sort of relief is given to the students in Kyrgyzstan. “Students are mainly in Bishkek, Osh and Jalabad and due to lockdown they are in house arrest. Their parents are also distressed in J&K and they don’t know what to do. So government should take up the issue and provide some relief to them,” said Var.

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