Thousands of students and parents join the protest to seek government intervention
Medical students, who were evacuated from war-torn Ukraine, are preparing to embark on a five-day hunger strike starting from Saturday to demand admission in Indian medical colleges as a one-time measure. The Parents Association of Ukraine MBBS Students (PAUMS) has announced that approximately 5,000 students and parents from 26 states will participate in the strike from July 23 to July 27, seeking a resolution to their ongoing predicament.
War-affected Medical Students Demand Inclusion in Indian Medical Colleges
The association highlighted the significant disruptions caused to MBBS education in Ukraine due to the prolonged war, resulting in students and parents experiencing depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. The PAUMS statement emphasized their demand for the Indian government to accommodate all affected students in Indian medical colleges, as they continue to face uncertainty regarding their educational future.
Efforts by the association, including multiple protests and a letter submission to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), have not yielded the desired outcome. Despite their previous demonstrations at Jantar Mantar and the National Medical Commission (NMC) office, the students have yet to receive any assurances. Consequently, they have decided to resort to a hunger strike as a means to draw attention to their plight.
Hunger Strike Launched by Evacuated Ukrainian Medical Students for Admission in India
It is estimated that there are approximately 12,000 students affected by this issue, excluding those in their final year. With around 600 medical colleges in the country, each institution would need to accommodate an average of 20 students to address the crisis.
The situation arose when Russian forces launched an offensive against Ukraine, compelling thousands of Indian students studying in various medical colleges across the country to abandon their courses and return home for safety reasons.
Thousands Join Hunger Strike, Urging Government to Accommodate Displaced Medical Students
The demands of these students and their parents have gained attention in various forums, including a public interest litigation filed in the Supreme Court. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has also recommended to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that these students be accommodated in Indian medical colleges as a one-time measure. The IMA’s proposal emphasizes that this step should not be seen as an increase in the annual intake capacity but as an exceptional measure to support these students in completing their MBBS courses.