Press Release: INDIA DAY FAIR 2019, Saturday, August 10 Parramatta Park

Press Release

Attn: Sydney Media

INDIA DAY FAIR 2019, Saturday, 10 August, Coleman Oval, Parramatta Park

India Day Fair will take place on Saturday, 10th August, 12 midday to 9.00pm.

This is the 7th year of this popular fair, celebrating multiculturalism, India, Indian culture and 73rd Independence Day of India.

With dance, music, food, kids rides and spectacular fireworks, the Fair is likely to attract thousands of people throughout the day. Last year, there were 15000+ people attending the fair.

The Fair is being organised by Federation of Indian Associations of NSW (FIAN), an umbrella body of many Indian community organisations in NSW. FIAN has a substantial record of community work.

It is an alcohol-free and a family event, with no entry fee for people to attend.

 

More info: Dr Yadu Singh, President 0413375669, fianinc1@gmail.com

—–End—–

Focus of Community associations must be on community’s welfare

Sydney, 7 June, 2019

Every community group and every community leader from Indian Australian community should reflect on what their core responsibilities are.

They should introspect on what they have been doing so far and what they should be doing henceforth.

They should reflect on whether they are focused on and meeting the key needs of the community.

They must go beyond their events and festivals.

Taking selfies with politicians can’t and mustn’t be the end goal.

We mustn’t allow ourselves to become a target for derision in front of the political leadership and the broader community.

What’s being done to cater to the needs of our seniors when they are in their later years of their lives and need placements in aged care facilities? Are there adequate facilities and opportunities available for them to enjoy the company of other seniors while they are reasonably healthy and mobile? Is once a month gathering adequate? Should it be a weekly occurrence? What resources do they need and how can these resources be made available? These are the questions, which we must ponder over as a community. If someone is providing facilities to seniors, including aged care facilities, what we should do to support that work? It should be collaboration, not duplication with unnecessary competition. We should be asking about what we can do to support every good thing and activity.

Talking about community facilities, we don’t have a single place which we can call “India House”, a place with sufficient facilities, where cultural activities can be organized and where community meetings including meetings of seniors can take place. This place can be the hub for a variety of services ie health education, mentoring for settlement and assisting people in other areas. India House can be delivered if we work together. If numerically much smaller communities in NSW can have facilities like this, then there is no way we can’t have a facility like this for ourselves. Here too, we will need to work collaboratively. Btw, it we were focused and were watchful, GOI-funded Indian Culture Centre would have been situated somewhere in Western Sydney, not at the Consulate General of India premises in the Sydney CBD.

Domestic violence is not uncommon in our community, but there isn’t any group in our community, which is involved in genuine work to support the victims. Real work, not just claims, is desperately needed. Women need to come forward and lead this project. Recently, some people were approached by a victim of domestic violence, who has recently arrived in Sydney. Not sure about what they could do, they came to my office. We called around but no help was available. I contacted the Consulate General of India (CGI) in Sydney and organized a meeting between them and the victim there. They too have their limitations, but agreed to provide some legal help. They gave 3 names from the panel of lawyers. One of them does conveyancing work and doesn’t usually do such work. This person would obviously be of not much help. The second one told the lady that they only do work for perpetrators (defence lawyer) and the third one told the woman to go to a disreputable migration agent in Western Sydney. I have made a complaint about it to CGI, and requested them to review and revamp the panel of lawyers urgently.

Even though we are big in numbers in NSW and have numerous associations, nothing should prevent collaboration among us to work together in organizing a common and big Indian Republic Day and Indian Independence Day events. It look crazy to hold multiple fairs of the same type in the same suburb, often only a week apart. Collaboration, not unnecessary competition, is urgently needed.

There are often instances when someone in the community, especially visitors, gets into difficulties of various nature. Fund collections are started haphazardly, with inadequate accountability and transparency. Money has been swindled at times and money thus raised has been misallocated at times. Not only it is wrong in principle and under law, but it also creates negative impressions and perceptions about benevolent activities in our community. We can and should do better. We must deal with it collaboratively.

There is nothing wrong in joining political parties, but not much is right to take leadership roles in community associations to progress their political prospects. Contesting elections while holding key leadership roles in community associations is not a desirable trend. Community associations are meant to be non-political entities. Their leaders should remain non-political. Contesting election is a political activity. The purpose behind taking leadership in community associations must be altruism, benevolence and selfless service, not self-promotion.

Giving awards and recognizing people is good, but giving awards to undeserving people, calling them “role models” or “excellence in community service” is counterproductive and undesirable. It makes no sense and it doesn’t help the community if awards are given to people after taking money for the awards. “Cash for awards” should cease to happen. There can’t be any justification for awards to those, who sell visa sponsorships for cash, fleece people or exploit vulnerable people like new migrants and international students.

The list is big and the work could seem daunting, but we have to start somewhere.

Nothing can be done if we don’t pull our sleeves up and get into the work with determination and optimism.

While doing this, we should seek guidance and blessings from our sensible seniors, who are able to rise above their pet or favorite associations and look at the whole community as their own. To achieve productive outcomes, we do however need to avoid Dhritrashtras धृतराष्ट्र (a blind king who was not able to see or judge the shortcomings of his offsprings) and Shukracharyas शुक्राचार्य (The guru of demons, who supported bad elements despite full knowledge of their bad behavior).

Remember, United we gain strength, and with division, we fail and fall as a community!

Jai Hind. 👌🇮🇳🇦🇺👌

Dr Yadu Singh

http://www.facebook.con/DoctorYaduSingh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

Congratulations, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi

Sydney, 23 May, 2019

Hearty Congratulations, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for the spectacular victory!

👌🇮🇳👌

PM Modi, Indians everywhere including NRIs have supported you & BJP actively and openly.

They want India to take a much higher position in the world.

It’s possible with you as India’s Prime Minister.

We remember your visit to Australia between 15th and 18th Nov, 2014 with fondness. Your speech at All Phones Arena, Olympic Park was superb and memorable for thousands of Indian Australians.

After your attendance at G20 summit in Brisbane on 15th and 16th November, you had started your state visit to Australia. Indian community was excited with this visit. This was the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister after PM Rajiv Gandhi visited Australia in 1986.

I was in the venues where you interacted with the community in Sydney and Melbourne, in addition to your address of a Joint session of Australian Parliament.

With your image as a decisive and a “can do” leader, Indians, not just in India but around the world, are optimistic that things will change for the better and the Indian economy will grow even more rapidly.

When I wrote a post in June, 2014 (https://yadusingh.com/2014/06/13/what-indians-in-australia-expect-from-the-modi-govt/) I mentioned many things which people expected. Many of those things have either been delivered or getting delivered. Prime Ministerial visit to Australia was one of them. Nuclear trade deal has already been signed.

Based on my interactions with many Indians in Australia, there are a few more things that people expect the new government to deliver.

1. Genuine dual citizenship: This has been discussed and debated for long. There is an almost universal demand that overseas Indians be given a right to hold genuine dual citizenship with voting and property rights, if the country of their citizenship has no issue with this and if there are no security issues with granting dual citizenship to any particular overseas Indian. If USA, UK, Australia and most of developed and democratic countries as well as some countries in the region see no issues in granting dual citizenship to their citizens, then people argue that there is no rational basis for India to deny dual citizenship to Indians. PM Modi, you and your government have the political capital to deliver this long-standing demand.

2. With Lok Pal coming in effect, it’s vital that the anti-corruption body is strengthened and resources to do an effective job.

3. The PM’s global Overseas Indians Advisory body should be revamped. People in it should be those who have significant presence, influence and interactions among Indians in their countries. The practice of Indian diplomats recommending their sycophants to become members of this body should be done away with.

4. Country specific Overseas Indian Advisory body: Countries with significant overseas Indian populations (Australia is certainly one such country) should have an advisory body of not more than 10 people, which can be used for consultations and other advisory purposes, not only by the local GOI authorities/agencies, but also the relevant authorities/agencies in India. Its term should be for not more than 2 years.

5. Annual consultation between High Commission and Community: Previous High Commissioner of India in Australia, Smt Sujatha Singh, started a novel, and productive, mechanism to meet the community representatives in Canberra on a yearly basis. Representatives from Indian community from all over Australia would assemble on a weekend to discuss and suggest things to Indian diplomats. Later High Commissioners did not continue this practice. The communication from High Commission and community has been limited and confined to a small group of people, who are close to HCI and their hangers-on. Previous practice of community consultation needs to be reactivated.

6. Free Trade Agreement (FTA): The pace of the discussions and negotiations should be accelerated so that FTA can be concluded soon. This will accelerate bilateral trade which is about $16 billion. This is important as Australia already has FTAs with Japan, South Korea and China.

7. Hindi teachings in Australian Universities: To increase India’s soft power and increase the numbers of India-literate Australians, India should consider seriously funding such teaching courses in at least one University each in Sydney and Melbourne. Discussions should be had between relevant authorities to explore equal sharing of cost between Australia and India.

8. Facilitations of Australian Universities and TAFE to have campuses in India: Many Australian institutions are ranked quite highly in various world Universities ranking systems. Collaborations in this field should be actively facilitated and encouraged, following a pragmatic and win-win module. Indian regulations to facilitate this should be considered.

9. Recognition of TAFE diploma in India: Many Indian students come to Australia to train in TAFE institutes. Many then move on to Universities to complete degrees. In addition to the diplomas not being recognised to the extent that the students wanting to pursue this study in Australia do not even get the education loans, Association of Indian Universities (the peak body responsible for recognising foreign degrees) does not recognise even Bachelor degrees that may have resulted from a credit transfer after a diploma resulting in the degree component being lesser than 3 year duration. (Diploma to Degree). This is a unique feature of Australian Qualification framework and so should be understood by Educational authorities. Quite a good numbers of Indians in Australia have earned their degrees through this pathway. TAFE institutes are a unique institution and it will be beneficial for India to consider recognizing diplomas from TAFE.

10. Bilateral Internship positions for Australians and Indians: Institutes and Universities of repute in both countries should be encouraged to develop mechanisms to have short term (3-6 months) placements for students and researchers to enhance collaboration in science and research.

11. Indian media’s bureau/representatives in Australia: During 2009-10, Indian media reported issues involving Indian students in an exaggerated way, erroneously attributing racism in literally every incident. They did not interact with local long-term Indians. It was harder for media to have a grasp of the ground realities. It will be helpful if key media outlets consider basing their representatives in Australia to cover Oceania. With increasing trade related activities between Australia and India and with increased number of Indians here, there could be sufficient justification for such decisions. Indian Govt can encourage media houses to take up this matter. A good beginning could be of a posting a full time Press Trust of India (PTI) reporter in Australia.

12. Indian Consulate in Brisbane: Queensland is an important state for Indian investment. Indian business houses like the Adani group have an important and a significant presence in this state. It is important to have an Indian Consulate in Brisbane.

13. India House in major capital cities: There are more than 750,000 people of Indian heritage in Australia, with a big concentration in Sydney and Melbourne. People believe that there should be Indian cultural centers (India House) in Australia, at least in Sydney and Melbourne. While some funding will be raised locally, a significant part of the funds should come from Indian Govt. Govt of India (GOI) Funds, if any, allocated for something of this nature to be established in the Indian Consulate premises in Sydney CBD should be reviewed and re-allocated for a center of this nature in areas like Parramatta or Blacktown, where the Indian community has a substantial presence. Sydney CBD is not a practical or appropriate site for an Indian Cultural Centre.

14. Overseas Indians’ property in India: Many overseas Indians are seeing that their properties are illegally occupied and face threats to their safety when they visit India. Court cases go on for extended periods of time. Indian Penal Code and relevant laws should be amended to tackle this menace.

15. Interactions between GOI agencies and Indian Australian community: It is often felt that GOI authorities in Australia do not interact with people sufficiently and respectfully, thus leading to a communication gap. It is a common experience that there is a significant gap between what we expect and what is delivered. It is also felt that GOI officials often get embroiled in local community politics and play “favoritism” games depending on who they like or dislike. It is quite irrational and subjective. Steps should be implemented to improve the situation and GOI agencies instructed to be more helpful and to improve their networking with the community.

16. Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs visit to Australia: With approx. 750,000 people of Indian heritage in Australia, a biennial visit of Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs or the Minister of State should be included in the official GOI travel calendar. This will help facilitate interactions with the community and facilitate linkage between the GOI and the community.

17. Streamlined grievance redressal mechanism for Overseas Indians: Overseas Indian Affairs ministry has often not been very helpful and help has often not come in a timely fashion due to excessive bureaucratic influences. This should be reviewed and streamlined.

18. Exchanges between Academicians and civil Society leaders: We need regular bilateral exchange visits of academics, journalists, leaders and civil society leaders. This will help improve relations between the two countries. The scope and numbers should be increased.

In summary, it will be of mutual benefit to the community in Australia and India if the Indian government is proactive in considering the interests and welfare of the Indian community down under.

 

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/23 May, 2019

http://www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

previous posts:

1. https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/yadusingh.com/2014/05/16/with-bjpnda-govt-led-by-narendra-modi-a-new-era-dawns-in-india/amp/

2. https://yadusingh.com/2014/06/13/what-indians-in-australia-expect-from-the-modi-govt/

We remember Prabha Arun Kumar today

Sydney, 7 March 2019

Our community remembers Prabha Arun Kumar today.

It was on 7 March, 2015, when she was murdered in the evening, while returning home from work and walking through Parramatta Park.

https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/amp.smh.com.au/national/nsw/parramatta-stabbing-why-prabha-arun-kumars-husband-was-not-told-of-her-death-20150310-1405sj.html

https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/amp.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/parramatta/vigil-marks-oneyear-anniversary-of-indian-woman-prabha-arun-kumars-murder-at-parramatta-park/news-story/a7e26f5dbacd815939120da9edcac552

https://yadusingh.com/2016/03/08/remembrance-vigil-for-prabha-arun-kumar-parramatta-park-7th-march-2016/

From all the published information, it was a targeted and pre-planned murder. She was not robbed.

Culprits haven’t been found, arrested or charged 4 years after this heinous and gruesome murder of a young mother of a young child, despite much efforts including visits of NSW Police to India to speak to her family members and husband.

We are concerned about the progress of the investigation and lack of outcome.

We remember Prabha today and hope that her murderer (s) is/are caught and brought to justice soon.

RIP.

Dr Yadu Singh

http://www.facebook.com/DoctorYaduSingh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

Holi 2019: Festival of Colours on 10 March in Parramatta

SYDNEY, 28/2/19

Holi 2019: Festival of Colours is happening on Sunday, 10 March, 2019.

Venue: The Prince Alfred Square, Cnr Church Street and Victoria Road, Parramatta, NSW 2150.

Everyone is invited.

It’s a free and alcohol free event.

It’s supported by Parramasala and NSW Government.

Dr Yadu Singh

fianinc1@gmail.com

http://www.facebook.com/FianInc

http://www.twitter.com/FianInc

Karwa Chowth in Sydney

Today, 27 October, is Karwa Chowth, which many Indian women, especially from the northern India, celebrate.

There are many such ceremonies going on in Sydney too.

This festival celebrated by women in Kartik month of the Hindu Calendar. Women hold a fast, followed by prayers for the long life of their husbands. From dawn, women spend time in company of other women, family and friends. Fasting women assemble in a common place as part of the ceremony, involving storytelling and singing and worshipping. As the moon rises, women traditionally view the moon through a sieve or veil. This can also be done by the reflection of the moon on water. Prayers for the husband’s life and health is offered as the concluding part of the ceremony.

समस्त नारीशक्ति-मातृशक्ति को पावन पर्व *करवाचौथ* की हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं व मंगलकामनाएं..!!

*मनुष्य सदैव आपका ऋणी रहेगा..आपने – जन्म दिया, शिक्षा दी..इंसान की प्रथम गुरु हैं आप..!!*

*कभी – माँ बनकर जन्म दिया, विजय तिलक लगाया तो कभी बहन बनकर राखी बांधी..कभी सुहागन बन के लंबी आयु की कामना की तो पुत्री बनकर गौरवान्वित करवाया..तो सच्ची मित्र बनकर जीवन को नई दिशा दी, हौसला दिया, सहयोग किया..!!*

*हम या समाज आपका यह ऋण कभी उतार नही पाएंगे..!!*

*नारीशक्ति आपको सहस्रों नमन..!!*

*यत्र नार्यस्तु पूज्यन्ते रमन्ते तत्र देवता:*✍☘💕

Karwa Chowth is a family event, in which everybody joins in.

More details:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karva_Chauth

Nice to see Happy Diwali posters in Woolworths stores

Sydney, 17 October 2018

While shopping in a Woolworths store in Western Sydney recently, I came across “Happy Diwali” posters and stickers there.

As a person from Indian heritage, I am happy to see these posters. These posters signify the inclusion of, and welcome to, diverse cultures. It’s multiculturalism in action.

There are about 650,000+ people of Indian heritage in Australia and these numbers are especially concentrated in Western suburbs of major cities like Sydney and Melbourne. From business point of view, it makes all the sense to be inclusive and welcoming of diversity and cultures.

Good job, Woolworths!

Dr Yadu Singh

http://www.facebook.com/DoctorYaduSingh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh