The Bengali doctor, living in Kyiv for the last 20 years, is helping arrange buses for stranded Indian students in war-torn Ukrainian cities.
As the war in Ukraine intensifies and more and more refugees pour into neighbouring countries trying to flee the bloodbath, an oncologist from Kolkata has decided to stay back to help evacuate Indian students from Kyiv.
“I am not stuck here in Kyiv, I am not leaving by choice,” Dr Prithwi Raj Ghosh told India Today.
Dr Ghosh, 37, who has been living in Ukraine for the past two decades, is said to have helped evacuate around 50 Bengalis and more than 350 Indian students from Kyiv. The Indian doctor, with a team of Ukrainians have helped arrange buses and cars for those hapless Indians trying to find their way across the border. He has also regularly informed the embassy about the evacuees.
Ghosh is a popular face among Indians in Ukraine as he also runs an organisation that helps foreign students choose their pathway. He mentors them to choose the right university and course and is hence quite close to the student fraternity.
He had experienced the 2014 war between Russia and Ukraine and could rightly predict the fast escalation that took place this time.
In an interview with Times of India (TOI), Prithwi Raj says, “I had started advising students to leave even before the war started. Some had left but then the flight prices soared, which deterred others to fly back home.”
His experience with the 2014 war prepared him sufficiently when the Russians started shelling Kyiv. He had stocked several bags of rice and daal, as a precautionary measure, which came in handy to feed hungry students sheltering in bunkers. He also reportedly arranged for 20 small and five large buses to take the stranded Indian students across the border.
“Ukrainian drivers were scared for their lives as well, fearing what would happen if they were caught outside the curfew hours. But then I had some contacts and finally almost all of the students who contacted me are out of the city safely. Some have even reached India,” Ghosh told TOI.
Meanwhile, far from the dangerous warzone, Prithwi Raj’s elderly parents are spending sleepless nights in Kolkata. Like any other parent, Pradip Ghosh, Prithwi Raj’s father, is worried about the safety of his heroic son.
“I know he is doing a great job but what about us? We are also worried about our son and can’t sleep at night seeing visuals of the war in the same city where my son is. I just want him to be safe and come back home at the earliest,” he told TOI.
However, his son believes he is still needed there and cannot desert the students in their time of dire need.
“I am still getting calls from students stuck in other cities. On Wednesday afternoon, I got a call from a student stuck in a Kharkiv metro station. I still have a job to do here. I can’t desert those in distress in this hour of crisis,” explained Dr Prithwi Raj Ghosh.
Not surprisingly, calls from rescued students and their parents expressing gratitude have been pouring in for this humble, humanitarian Bengali doctor living in Velyka Vasylkivska, Kyiv.