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Not Without My Dog: Govt allows students to return from Ukraine with pets

Kyiv: Indian students, who are being evacuated from war-hit Ukraine on an emergency footing now under Operation Ganga, are also bringing back their beloved pets after the Indian Government relaxed norms in this regard, a move which has earned appreciation from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India.

The Press Information Bureau tweeted a picture of one such Indian student, Rishabh, and wrote: “🇮🇳#OperationGanga is bringing back not just humans but their 4-legged friends as well. Here’s Indian student Rishabh who has safely arrived back, with ‘Malibu’.👇 @Dept_of_AHD had issued a special advisory allowing Indian nationals to bring along their pets from #Ukraine.”

On Monday ago, Rishabh Kaushik had decided not to leave Ukraine without his pet dog. According to an NDTV report, Rishabh, a third-year engineering student of Kharkiv National University of Radio Electronics in east Ukraine, did not leave Ukraine without his dog.

The stranded Indian student had said that neither the Indian Embassy in Ukraine nor immigration officials in India had helped him get out of the country with his dog.

“Considering the unique and extraordinary situations in war-hit Ukraine wherein pre-export requisite formalities for export of pets into India may not be fulfilled, the import of pet dogs and/or pet cats along with stranded Indians being rescued by the Government of India is being facilitated as a one-time relaxation measure as under,” stated a memorandum issued by the Ministry for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying as quoted by WION News.

Meanwhile, positive stories of such Indians bringing back their pets have gone viral on social media. The four-legged companions are also being brought back as part of Operation Ganga.

Union Minister General (Rtd) VK Singh, who is currently in Poland coordinating the evacuation drive under Operation Ganga, tweeted: “Some of the evacuees brought their four legged best friends as well. Good to have all of our #IndianStudents aboard on the @IAF_MCC C-17 Globemaster ready to return to the safety of our motherland.”

PETA India was quick to thank the Indian minister for the government’s move. “Thank you respected @Gen_VKSingh for all of your hard work in safely evacuating Indian nationals and their companion animals. We thank you for ensuring human and animal families are kept together in this time of crisis,” the animal rights organisation tweeted.

India Blooms News Service

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