We are writing this on behalf of about 500 Indian students of Tver Medical University in Russia, who have come to study medicine through an education consultation company named Rus Education. All this while, we have been paying the University fee through this company. They charged the fee from us, but never gave us the receipt from the University. Instead, they only sent us their own receipt.
In September 2019, a new University rector was appointed, who came forward and told us that the actual fee structure of the University is only a third of what we had been paying so far. That is when we realised that all this while, we have been exploited by this company and our parents’ hard-earned money is being wasted.
We tried to raise this issue with the company, but every time we stood up to them, we were threatened. Even our parents back home were called and threatened. Fake legal notices were sent to our homes. When we checked for the authenticity of the papers, their lawyer himself failed to explain the notice.
Out of almost 500 Indian students studying in this University, only a few of us have dared to even question this, as all of us are facing various kinds of threats. This is one major reason why most of the students are not able to come forward. The students are really scared, because this is not our native place and we won’t be able to ask for help from anyone. Moreover, there is serious threat to our safety and security while fighting this issue against such financially and politically powerful and influential lobby.
We emailed our problems to the Indian embassy in Russia, and even tried calling them. But sadly, only after about two to three weeks we got their reply, which itself was not satisfactory either. Even when we called their emergency numbers, we were either asked to call someone else, or the calls went unattended. We even left voice messages, but we have not received any reply yet.
We tried to raise this through social media platforms so that other parents and students applying through Rus Education don’t fall in this trap and get cheated. However, through some way or the other, they keep blocking the pages or report the videos that we post. Because of their bullying and threats, junior students are not able to come forward. Only a handful of us have been able to stand against them.
We also tried seeking help from the Russian media. But being foreign students in the country, they aren’t too keen on covering this. That is when we decided to take the help of Indian media. We are, unfortunately, not able to reveal our identity due to safety reason, which we hope you understand. But, we shall be able to give any details. We will be available to answer all your queries through emails, and later, if required, through phone calls too.
At this moment, we are only seeking protection of our and our friends’ lives. We shall really be thankful if you could help us bring this to the attention of all the authorities concerned who can help us with this.