Indian Consul General’s Community Committee on Students’ Issues, Sydney, NSW was formed at the Indian Consulate on 6th April 2009. It did intensive work and completed its task in a very efficient manner. After accomplishing its mandated task, it dissolved itself at the end of June 2009 and communicated this to the Indian Consulate on 1/7/09.
The committee had Harmohan Walia,Vish Viswanathan, Shubha Kumar, Stanley D’Cruz and Dr Yadu Singh as its members. I was its co-ordinator.
This committee had done following activities;
#met students numerous times.
#organised a students’ forum on 16th May at Strathfield.
#co-organised a students’ forum with UIA in Strathfield on 6th June.
#arranged help to a woman student who was a victim of domestic violence.
#arranged help to 2 women students who were stalked by another Indian co-worker.
#arranged meetings with minister of education, NSW and her senior advisers and students from an aviation school-Work in progress.
#arranged a meeting with the president, NSW upper House [Mr Peter Primrose] and Ms Helen Westwood MLA and students.
#arranged meeting of an aviation school student with consul General [this student gave him his papers].
#arranged a meeting with a community minded lawyer and aviation school students.
#met the mother of a student of an aviation school. This lady’s husband had died only 4 weeks ago due to the serious stress involved in losing the money with the school in Sydney without the required outcome.
#arranged and participated in TV coverage of students’ issues on Channel 7, 9, 10, SBS TV, ABC TV, and Bloomberg.
#participated in the coverage on ABC radio, SBS radio, SBS Hindi radio, 2UE, JJJ, Indian Link radio, Radio UMANG, 2GB radio and SBS Kannada Radio.
#arranged talk-backs on these issues on SBS radio and Radio UMANG [98.5MHZ, Fridays,8-9 PM]
#participated in coverage on SMH, The Australian, Daily Telegraph, other newspapers and AAP.
#participated in the coverage on Indian newspapers in Australia [The Indian, Indian Link, Indus Age, The Indian Sub Continent Times, Indian Down Under].
#participated in TimesNow, NDTV, CNN/IBN, Headlines Today, AajTak and other Indian TV Channels.
#participated in the coverage on main Indian newspapers and PTI.
#involved with some top-grade Australian media programmes with wide audience in getting students’ issues covered.
#arranged funds for the accommodation for the relatives Mr Rajesh Kumar [the petrol bomb victim from Harris Park] within 24 hours.
#met commander Robert Redfern , Parramatta Local area Command of NSW Police several times.
#did what we could do to persuade/help the students when they were on the Harris Park streets for 3 nights.
#participated in the community leaders’ meeting with chairman, Community Relations Commission [CRC] at CRC HQ
#participated in a CRC organised meeting with Indian students at Parramatta RSL.
#participated in the community leaders’ meeting with the Premier, Mr Nathan Rees
#Met Indian Consul General and Consul several times
#helped a prominent Indian TV channel with a documentary on true situation in Australia. One of us [Yadu Singh] was the citizen Journalist.
#discussed and formulated the strategy to solve the problems of our students.
#submitted our strategy to the NSW task force and other relevant authorities.
#provided leadership in the matters relating to Indian students.
#gave our after hours and week-ends for students’ work and provided pastoral care to the needy students.
#provided/facilitated medical help to the needy students/their family members.
#met the visiting Indian journalists at the Consulate.
The committee members were all hard-working people with top-grade integrity. They did not have any conflict of interest in the matters relating to Indian students. None of them were involved in the students’ placement in a school [after taking a commission], running of any such school or running of any business which could have a potential conflict of interest in any manner.
All members worked with full dedication, cohesion and team feeling without any undermining of one another. This itself is a rare thing for an Indian group. We are proud of our work and ourselves.
We appealed to every person from Indian background to stay away from any leadership role if they were involved in any activity which did/could create a conflict of interest in these matters but we did not succeed in this matter.
We raised our voice forcefully against the exploitation of Indian students by some Indian employers.
We also appealed to the Indian newspapers and Radio programmes to ask questions from every leader [on students’ issues] about their involvementin any activity which created a conflict of interest in those matters. We suggested that the media should start with the questions on conflict of interests when interviewing those leaders.
Dr Yadu Singh
Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
PS: The committee had completed its task and dissolved itself at the end of June 2009 by informing the Consulate officially on 1/7/09.