Jalandhar, April 13
At a time when thousands of people are desperately fleeing Ukraine amid the Russian invasion, Nawanshahr-based Swatanter Soni was forced to go back to Ukraine only to get documents of his one-and a-half-month-old baby, who was born in Kyiv on February 24, when Russia launched its first attack there and the situation was quite grim all around.
Will take up matter with Centre, state govt: MLA
I will take up the matter with the Ministry of External Affairs and the Punjab Government to ensure every possible help to bring Swatanter and his family back. Nachhatar Pal Singh, Nawanshahr MLA
Talking over a Whatsapp call with The Tribune, Swatanter said he made all efforts to seek help from Indian embassies in Lisbon (Portugal) and Poland and even sent mails (copy of which are in possession of Tribune) to Ministry of External Affairs, CM Bhagwant Mann and other AAP MLAs, but to no avail.
He said when he contacted the Ukraine Embassy, the consular asked him to either speak with the Indian embassy or register the baby’s details along with medical reports at the registration office in Kyiv, only then he will be able to get a birth certificate, citizenship and passport.
“Having lost all hopes, I decided to travel back to Ukraine. I covered over 4,500 kilometers in two days by car from Lisbon to Kyiv as it was the only option left to get my daughter’s documentation,” said Swatanter, who left Ukraine on February 26 after the situation got worse in Kyiv. He said he along with his mother, then two-day-old baby and wife, who had stitches due to cesarean surgery, travelled for 800 km in his car to reach the Poland border.
“After entering Poland, I moved to Germany where I contacted officials at the Indian Embassy in Berlin. They assured me that they would take up the case with higher authorities, but as my wife’s condition was deteriorating, I left for my relatives’ place in Lisbon,” he said.
He further said his family was at staying in Portugal, while he had come back to Ukraine to receive documentation of his daughter, so that he can apply for her passport. “Last two months were a nightmare. Daily I used to visit and make hundreds of calls to Indian embassies in Poland, Portugal and authorities concerned in India, but no one offered any help,” said Swatanter.
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