Friday, 28 October 2011

Bhutan - Bhutanese students in Thailand flee the floods

Most of the Bhutanese students studying at Rangsit University in Bangkok are returning home as the flooding in Thailand worsens.

The last group of students is arriving in Phuentsholing tomorrow, after flying to Kolkata, taking a train from Kolkata to Hashimara and travelling by bus to Phuentsholing.

The Rangsit University is already submerged under water. The university has been closed till November 14.

According to the Bhutanese student’s coordinator in Rangsit University, Pem Tshering, they have been able to flee only because of the financial support from the office of the Gyalpoi Zimpoen and the Rangsit University.

In Kolkata, the Bhutanese consulate helped the students, providing them accommodation.

Only three students studying at Rangsit have remained back, one because he could not get plane tickets to return home. He will be arriving in Kolkata tonight. The other two have been evacuated by the university to a safer place in the north.

“29 students are already here in Kolkata. We flew in yesterday,” said Pem Tshering from Kolkata.

There are also other students studying in other universities.

They are reportedly not at risk from the rising flood waters as Rangsit University.

Rachana Pradhan, a B.Sc. Nursing student at the Naresuan University, said they “contacted the university authority. They said we are safe at the moment and no one has left for Bhutan.”

“Well, there could be problems regarding food, water and medicine if the problem continues. Supplies were already running out, so as a precaution we bought rice, oil, instant noodles, drinking water in stock to be safe.”

The Bhutanese Ambassador to Thailand, Tshering Dorji, said they are in constant touch with the university authorities. He said the embassy has been helping the Bhutanese students studying in Thailand.

He said the embassy is urging Bhutanese students in Thailand to stay in close contact with the embassy. Altogether, there are over 400 Bhutanese students studying in Thailand.

Students from Rangsit University however said the Bhutanese embassy in Bangkok has not been very supportive.

They said the embassy did provide them with accommodation at the embassy premises but apart from that there has not been much by way of help.

The students were running out of money and stock of food items and spent over a week at the embassy premises.

A few have also posted their frustration on facebook, networking site.

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