Russia-Ukraine War: Harjot Singh was trying to escape Kyiv and was wounded in firing.
Indian student Harjot Singh was shot multiple times while trying to escape from Ukraine capital Kyiv in a cab last week and suffered a fractured leg. He lay on the road, wounded, for hours until an ambulance took him to hospital.
"I opened my eyes and found myself in the hospital," Harjot Singh told NDTV from the Kyiv City hospital.
Eager to go home and meet his family, he is waiting to be moved out of Ukraine but says his conversations with officials have been frustrating so far.
Harjot Singh says he was not allowed to board a train at the Kyiv station, so he and his friends hired a cab to Lviv, one of the cities spared the worst of the Russian invasion till now. They were on their way out of Kyiv when "many people" started shooting at their cab.
"A bullet entered from my shoulder. They took out a bullet from my chest...my leg was fractured. There was a bullet in one knee," Harjot Singh said.
"I wanted some facility to take me to Lviv. But no one has contacted me. Only NDTV reached out to me. Now the whole world will know the reality of what is happening," he remarked.
Harjot Singh says he was shot on Sunday night and has since been in the hospital, 20 minutes from the Indian Embassy.
"I contacted the embassy people and asked if they can provide the facility to take me to Lviv. They kept asking me questions. I had to repeat my story several times. I can't walk. I told them I can come out of the hospital, but they have to give me the facilities, they should take me to Lviv. But all I get is fake comments," he said.
The student, who is from Delhi, said, "many more Harjots are trapped in Kyiv".
"Many have shut themselves in their homes, they don't know what is happening. I have been continuously trying to speak to the Embassy. But our Embassy has already left for Lviv, even before us. The embassy is supposed to stay and help students," he said.
The Ministry of External Affairs said it was trying to reach the student but cited the difficulty owing to the area being a conflict zone.
"The government of India will be bearing expenses for Harjot Singh's medical treatment (in Kyiv). We are trying to ascertain his medical status... Our embassy is trying to get an update on his health status...trying to reach out but facing trouble as it's a conflict zone," news agency ANI reported quoting the Ministry of External Affairs.
Harjot fought back tears as he described an emotional video call with his mother.
"Mothers will be mothers, you know. When I was hit, I prayed to Waheguru-ji to give me a new life, for my mother. I told my mother I got a new life because of you. My family could not stop weeping. I saw my father crying for the first time in my life."
He said he could hear bombs, firing, missiles every day.
"My only message is that whatever has happened, we can't do anything about it. We can only hope for the best. People have seen me through NDTV...now people should know what the reality is...what is happening on the ground. If I am alive, I will give another interview."
According to the government, nearly 17,000 Indian nationals have left Ukraine's borders in the past few days. Over 6,000 have been flown back home and around 1,700 are waiting to leave Ukraine, officials said.
Before war broke out, around 20,000 Indians, mainly medical students, were in Ukraine.
On Tuesday, an Indian student was killed in Russian shelling in Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine, when he was standing in a queue outside a grocery store.