Community work:what I have done so far.

Updated on 11th April, 2011.

Information

Here is my account about what I have done so far and what I am doing right now.

1. Community work in General:

1.1. Leadership roles in Indian community Medical Associations, Continuing Medical education and Health education of general community.

1.2. Helping poor people from our community ie visitors, overseas patients and Indian students when they are in need of health care in Australia without sufficient financial resources.

1.3. Helping poor students in my district with  scholarships etc.

2. My work as the co-ordinator of the Indian Consul General’s committee on students’ issues:
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]-now stopped.

#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 involvement in 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.

3.My work beyond/outside the Consul General’s committee on students:

a. helped the refund of >$12000 to a student of a Flying school.

b. arranged legal assistance to the students from this Flying school from a solicitor in Sydney and Canberra.

c.1. facilitated a good outcome between parties involving VETAB, Flying school and students.

c.2. held several meetings involving VETAB high authorities, the Flying school and students in VETAB and my offices.

d. organised further refunds/savings [including waiving of about $50000f the legal fees in regards to a legal proceedings in the Supreme Court where students had lost their case and costs was awarded against them]] for a Flying school students from ESOS scheme with the help of VETAB, DEEWR and federal education dept which is worth >$250000 . I was the key and the only Indian person in this work for these students. I did this as I felt it was my duty to help students from my community who were feeling powerless in Australian system.

e. held meetings involving a Flying school people, VETAB and students.

f. helped payment of >$2400 to a student which was originally denied by his employer.

g. arranged funding of about $1000 to the family members of the “Petrol bomb” victim.

h. donated $500 to a students association.

i. arranged sponsorship for foods, meeting hall and public liability insurance for a students’ association [worth >$1000].

j. mentoring students for their careers and future in OZ.

k.1. donated $500 to AHIA’s seniors.

k.2. donated $500 to Fiji floods relief fund via International congress of Fiji Indians and organized $2000 donations from other doctors

k.3. donated $500 to Sanatan Arya Pratinidhi Samaj, Sydney.

l. donated a good amount [>$2000] for needy/deserving causes involving victims of earthquakes, accidental deaths, injuries and illnesses.

m.1. helping several students including assault victims for their work comp, treatment and issues involving their parents.

m.2. Liaised with NSW Police high ups in regards to the assaults of 2 Indians in Sydney.

m.3. Advised/mentored several others in regards to the steps they needed to take when they were assaulted.

n. established a benevolent fund for the community with further activities in the process.

o. participated as an active member of the working party with CRC on students including inputs for Z card.

p.1. took leadership role via the media including Indian and Australia media [Chanel 9, SBS, NDTV, Indian ethnic newspapers].

p.2. helped Radio National in making a documentary on students [see details in this BLOG elsewhere].

q. raised the issue of OZ Uranium sale to India during the Australia India Day celebration on 24th Jan, 2010 where several ministers, MPs, MLAs, MLC, and media people were present.

r. helped community members’ relatives/parents including FIJI Indians’ when they needed medical help.

s. helped students with their medical treatment of all types when they needed such help. This included getting a student admitted for the urgent treatment of his Kidney stone trouble which was threatening his Kidney.

t. helping the community members from India and South Asia with a concessional fees structure because they are part of my community [a service worth more than $50000/year].

u. met NSW Premier, VETAB authorities and NSW Education authorities on students’ issues

v. did all this work without any personal benefits or COMMISSIONs unlike some of our “leaders”. SEE my BLOG for more details.

w.1. trying to clean the community leadership and making them accountable.

w.2. Exposed commission taking by some leaders of an Indian community association in Sydney.

x. taking a leadership role against unfair portrayal of Australia as a Racist society by Indian media.

y. mentored medical doctors from India in regards to their training and registration issues including achieving a successful outcome for a house surgeon who was facing exclusion from the medical work due to her unfair treatment in a Sydney hospital. I worked very actively with this young doctor and her supervisors including Hospital administrators to get her into the internship at a different hospital. She passed her assessment and is now working in Sydney.

z.1. many other charity work in India including scholarships for poor students in India.

z.2. running a weekly Radio UMANG [Health radio] programme.

z.3. worked as a catalyst in resolving the issues between Indian consul General, Sydney and some businessmen with a successful outcome.

z.4. took an active and a leading  role in resolving the issues between Indus Age [after a controversial ad] and the community, and achieved a successful outcome [with an apology and a promise to not publish such ads again].

z.5. Formed a community committee [total 10 people in it] against Visa Capping Bill in May 2010 and lobbied with the Gov ministers and Media against this Bill which was very harmful to the students. Worked actively for this committee, visiting community gatherings, temples and Gurdwaras to collect signatures against this Bill. We also met the Immigration minister, Mr Chris Evans, asking him to not proceed with this Bill. See www.fairgo4internationalstudents.org.

z.6. Formed a national organisation called National Council of Indian Australians [NCIA, www.ncia.org.au] with participation from all over Australia [all states and territories representatives].

z.7. Spoke as a lead doctor in the Health Summit, organised by GOPIO, Sydney, educating/informing people on Health matters on 4th Dec, 2010.

z.8. Helped a family locate their son [International student] http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/a-dumped-bike-a-glimpse-on-sydney-stations-cctv-what-happened-to-indian-student-abhijeet-20101006-166rs.html

z.9. Raised $7100 as a team for Qld Flood relief on 28th Jan, 2011.

z.10. Took up the issue of attack on  Sri Mandir temple, Auburn and brought it to the national media.

z.11. Took up the matter involving HINDI in the Australian national draft curriculum-Languages and wrote to ACARA. 

z.12. Campaigned for removal of an incorrect map of India in DIAC website and succeeded.

I have not listed every thing I have done or am doing. Much more is being done presently.

I had to write this down because some of my detractors were making comments like “what has he done for the community”.

Just to let you know that it gives me a sense of satisfaction to do some community work beyond my medical work. 


Yadu Singh/Sydney/22nd November, 2010

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Flying School Students:DEEWR must act soon!

The stories of the Flying school are known to all. These were covered in SMH, The Australian and ABC [Four Corners] recently.

I met a couple of them today, Sunday, in my office.

We all need to know that they came to Australia to train as pilots and return to India. They were not interested in the “PR” here. They had a vision about their career but it did not go according to their plans.

We all know that Vocational Education, Training Accreditation Board [VETAB] has done an enquiry and taken some action. Dept of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations [DEEWR] has created some confusion by circulating a document about this school. I was sent this document by the Indian Consulate, Sydney recently. I already had this document as it was sent by a student a few days ago, telling something contradictory.

It is not our concern whether this school is registered or de-registered. VETAB and DEEWR can sort this out themselves.

VETAB has its role only up to the registration or lack of registration based on the training standards or lack of it. That is what VETAB is saying. They say that further actions have to be taken by other agencies. These are Fair trading Dept, DEEWR/ESOS and Australian courts.

I think it is not a correct view.

VETAB and DEEWR, both, have a duty of care and have a moral/legal responsibility to to help students in getting a fair treatment because,

1. students came to Australia, knowing that these agencies would look after the quality issues and standards,

2. students had an expectation of fair dealing from these agencies when they complained,

3. students had complained to VETAB/DEEWR well before they either left the school or forced out of the school.

Students complained to these agencies in 2008 but not much was done except passing the buck between these agencies. VETAB became serious only after we and students met Hon Mr Peter Primrose, Hon Ms Helen Westwood, Hon Ms Verity Firth, Minister of Education’s senior advisers and others in April/May 2009.

We ask;

1.  that VETAB/DEEWR get involved actively in the matters of these students and put sufficient pressure on this school to resolve the matter quickly.

2.  that VETAB/DEEWR encourage the school to use the services of a suitably trained mediator/conciliator to help resolve the problems.

These students are going through a very difficult time in Australia. Some of them have left Australia and others are still here.

We want the VETAB/DEEWR to know that we are willing to be the bridge between the school and the students. We deal with them regularly and know how difficult it is for them. We do however admire them for their resolve to fight against the injustice.

Injustice, they have suffered undoubtedly. We will fight along side them, no doubt because it is the right thing to do. 

They deserve a “Fair GO” from VETAB/DEEWR/ESOS/Australian media.

VETAB/DEEWR/ESOS, Please act fast!

Would the ministers in charge of these bodies [Hon Ms Verity Firth and Hon Ms Julia Gillard] please look into the plight of these students?

Dr Yadu Singh/06-09-09