Our Community work

Our Community work

25 March 2019

I am an active part of my community and take part in its activities, either as an individual or as the leader of the team, in a meaningful way.


1. Community work in General:

  • leadership roles in Indian community Medical Associations and community organisations,
  • helping students in my district in India by visiting and giving scholarships etc.

2. My work as the coordinator 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. The committee had Mr Harmohan [Harry] Walia, Mr Vish Viswanathan, Mrs Shubha Kumar, Mr Stanley D’Cruz and  I was its coordinator. This committee had done following activities;

  • met students numerous times.
  • organized a students’ forum on 16th May at Strathfield.
  • co-organized 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.
  • arranged a meeting with the president, NSW upper House [Mr Peter Primrose] and Ms Helen Westwood MLA and Flying school students.
  • arranged a meeting with a community minded lawyer and aviation school students.
  • met the visiting 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.
  • arranged and participated in TV coverage of students’ issues on Channel 7, 9, 10, SBS TV, ABC TV, and Bloomberg.
  • participated in the coverage of students’ issues 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 students’ issues on SBS radio and Radio UMANG [98.5MHZ, Fridays, 8-9 PM]. Radio Umang has ceased functioning now.
  • participated in coverage of students’ issues on SMH, The Australian, Daily Telegraph, other newspapers and AAP.
  • participated in the coverage of students’ issues on Indian newspapers in Australia [Indian Link, Indus Age, The Indian, The Indian Sub-Continent Times and Indian Down Under].
  • participated in the coverage of students’ issues on TimesNow, NDTV, CNN/IBN, Headlines Today, AajTak and other Indian TV Channels.
  • participated in the coverage of students’ issues on main Indian newspapers like Times of India and PTI.
  • assisted some top-grade Australian media programs like Four Corners from ABC, 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] at the request from Indian Consulate.
  • met and networked with Commander Robert Redfern, Parramatta Local area Command of NSW Police several times for students’ issues.
  • counseled students to stop further processions after the ones in Harris Park streets.
  • participated in the community leaders’ meeting with chairman, Community Relations Commission [CRC] at CRC HQ.
  • participated in a CRC organized 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 in regards to these matters several times.
  • discussed and formulated the strategy to solve the problems of our students.
  • submitted this strategy to the Consul General of India and 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.
  • raised our voice forcefully against the exploitation of Indian students by some Indian employers.
  • appealed to the Indian newspapers and Radio programs to ask questions from every leader [on students’ issues] about their involvement in any activity which created a conflict of interest in those matters.

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

  • helped the refund of more than $12000 to a student of a Flying school.
  • arranged free legal assistance to the students from this Flying school from  solicitors/legal firms in Sydney and Canberra.
  • facilitated a good outcome between parties involving VETAB, Flying school and students. I was the mentor/support person of these students of the Flying school.
  • held several meetings involving VETAB Director and other authorities, the Flying school representatives and students in my office and VETAB offices.
  • worked and organized refunds/savings of $300000 [including waiving of about $50000 of the legal fees in regards to a legal proceedings in the Supreme Court where students had lost their case and costs were awarded against them] for the Flying school students from ESOS scheme with the help of VETAB, DEEWR and federal education dept. 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 robbed of their money and were feeling powerless in Australian system.
  • helped payment of $2400 to a student which was originally denied by his employer in Western Sydney.
  • donated $500 to an Indian students’ students association.
  • arranged sponsorship of $1000 for foods, meeting hall and public liability insurance for a students’ association.
  • mentoring students for their careers and future in OZ.
  • donated $500 to Australia Hindi Indian Association’s [AHIA] seniors.
  • donated $500 to Fiji floods relief fund via International congress of Fiji Indians and organized $2000 donations from other doctors.
  • donated $500 to Sanatan Arya Pratinidhi Samaj, Shane Park, Sydney.
  • donated approx. $5000 for various needy/deserving causes involving victims of earthquakes, accidental deaths, injuries and illnesses.
  • helped several students including assault victims for their work comp, treatment and issues involving their parents.
  • liaised with NSW Police higher authorities and ensured actions in regards to the assaults of 2 Indians in Blacktown, Sydney.
  • advised/mentored several others in regards to the steps they needed to take when they were assaulted.
  • took leadership role on Indian Australian community matters in the media-Indian and Australia media [Chanel 9, SBS, NDTV, Indian ethnic newspapers].
  • helped Radio National in making a documentary on students [see details in this BLOG elsewhere].
  • helping community members from India and South Asia with a concessional fees structure. [a service worth more than $50000/year]. People from other communities, if they can’t afford specialist medical practitioner’s fees are also included.
  • tried to clean the community leadership and making them accountable.
  • exposed commission taking by some leaders of an Indian community association in Sydney.
  • took a leadership role against unfair portrayal of Australia as a Racist nation by Indian media with interviews and debates.
  • took part in “Is Australia a Racist nation” debate with David Penberthy [Ex Editor, Daily Telegraph] in Sunrise programme of Ch 7 in 2009.
  • mentoring medical doctors from India in regards to their training and registration issues.
  • helped a House Surgeon who was facing exclusion from the medical work due to her unfair treatment in a Sydney hospital and then worked actively with this young doctor and her supervisors including Hospital administrators to get her into the internship at a different hospital, thus leading to a successful outcome.
  • worked as a catalyst in resolving the issues between Indian consul General, Sydney and some Indian businessmen with a successful outcome in 2010.
  • took an active and a leading role in resolving the issues between Indus Age [after a controversial ad] and the community in 2010.
  • formed a community committee, Friends of International Students,  www.fairgo4internationalstudents.org. against Visa Capping Bill in May 2010 and lobbied with the Govt 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.
  • spoke as the leading doctor in the Health Summit, organized by GOPIO, Sydney, educating/informing people on Health matters on 4th Dec, 2010.
  • 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.
  • raised $7100 for Qld Flood relief on 28th Jan, 2011.
  • took up the matter involving HINDI in the Australian national draft curriculum-Languages and wrote to ACARA, in addition to supporting Australian Hindi Committee.
  • Organized India Day Fair, 7th Aug, 2011, at Parramatta Park, Parramatta.
  • Organized Australia Day and Indian Republic Day celebrations in 2010, 2011 and 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
  • Took part in “Clean Up Australia Day” events in Liverpool and Toongabbie many times.

4. Health Education Seminars for the Community:

  • First such Seminar with GOPIO in Dec, 2010.
  • Second such seminar in Dec, 2011.
  • Third such Seminar with GOPIO, 28th April, 2012.
  • Multiple Radio interviews and talk backs [Darpan Radio, SBS Hindi Radio, Dhanak Radio, Navtarang Radio, SBS Punjabi Radio] on Health matters.
  • Anchored Radio UMANG Health Show.

5.  Sri Mandir Temple matter:

  • took up the issue of attacks on Sri Mandir temple, Auburn and brought it to the national media.
  • attended meetings with Police, along with temple committee members.

6. Australian Uranium to India Issue:

  • raised the issue of Australian 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.
  • wrote an Opinion Piece on this issue in the prestigious Journal of Mining & Investment Australia.
  • wrote in Foreign Policy Research Centre [FPRC] Journal twice-one on India-Australia relations and 2nd on India’s Look East Policy, advocating sale of Australian Uranium to India.
  • raised Uranium issue during Australia Day/Indian Republic Day event, in Jan, 201o and 2011, in presence of senior Australian politicians.
  • raised Uranium issue in India Day Fair, Parramatta on 7th Aug, 2011, in presence of senior Australian politicians, including Ministers.

7. Incorrect Map of India in DIAC [Dept of Immigration and Citizenship], Australia website:

  • campaigned effectively for removal of an incorrect map of India [which had excluded Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir] in DIAC website and succeeded.

8. Kyle Sandilands & 2DayFM issue:

  • campaigned against insulting comments from Kyle Sandilands, 2DayFM and forced them to offer an apology for his comments against India and River Ganges.

9. Lord Ganesh Vs Third Reich play and Goddess Lakshmi picture on a Bikini matters:

  • campaigned along with others on these matters and made our concerns known assertively, via Blog, calls, Facebook and interview with The Age newspaper.

10. Community Relations Commission [CRC] Working Group on International students 2009-10:

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

11. Diwali in NSW Parliament and CRC Deepavali Committee 2011-12:

  • successfully campaigned/lobbied with NSW to host Diwali celebration in NSW Parliament
  • Worked as a member of this committee to assist NSW Govt to host Deepavali in NSW Parliament-the only such Indian event.

12. Ministerial Consultative Committee for Indian Australian Community in NSW 2011-12:

  • NSW Minister Victor Dominello appointed me as one of the members and worked as a member of this committee to deal with issues relevant to Indian Australian community in NSW.
  • Contributed as an active member of the sub-committes [of this MCC] on Community service, communication, Trade & Investment, Immigration, Youth and new migrants

13. Worked with a team in The Hills Shire & raised >$22000 for Qld floods Victims in March, 2013.

14. Organised INDAUS FAIR, Sunday, 11th Aug, 2013, at Rosehill Race Course

15. Indian Independence Day Celebration on 15th Aug, 2012 at Parravilla, Parramatta:  Free [no cost to guests] event with performances from Shaimak Davar group, Melbourne.

16. Organised a Meet and greet event for visiting prominent writers and Mr Oscar Fernandes MP [Indian National Congress General Secretary] in 2012.

17. Australia Day & Indian Republic Day celebration on 27th Jan, 2013, Ryde Civic Centre, Ryde, NSW.

18. Parramasala working group with Lord Mayor, Parramatta Council-advising about what should be done to make Parramasala more vibrant and popular.

19. Ran a campaign to remove pictures of Hinduism deities from the label on Beer bottles from Brookvale Union brewery

20. Interacted with relevant people and agencies on Ms Monika Chetty’s tragic death in Sydney, including interviews with SMH, ABC news, Radio National Background Briefing, Channel 9 A Current Affairs and ABC 7.30 Report programmes.

21. Interviewed for emigration from Australia by Newes.com.au and SBS Radio.

22. Interviewed for an article on Indians in Taxi industry in Australia, perceptions and realities.

23. Interviewed by Radio National ABC on Hinduism religious affairs.

24. Organised (as part of the team) the Farewell to Consul General, Mr Arun Goel, 18th March, 2014, Harris Park.

25. Took up the matter against Federal Government’s repeal proposal of Sec 18C of Racial Discrimination Act via Blog, Social media and Indian and Australian newspapers like Hills News, Blacktown Sun, Penrith Gazette.

26. Helped a senior member of the community to get his OCI issues sorted out from the Consulate without unnecessary expenses and trouble.

27. Helped an Indian Intern doctor (Dr A. K) in regards to her issues with a Sydney Hospital.

28. Took up the matter of  “upside down” display of India’s national flag during Master Chef Australia broadcast, and got it rectified by the concerned agencies.  

29. Took the matter of Manjit Singh in regards to his issues for Passport and PCC with Indian Consulate General offices, Perth, Nov 2014, and achieved the successful outcome.

30. Took a leading role in Breast Cancer screening seminar with various agencies, Ermington Community Centre, Ermington, NSW, on Sunday, 16th Nov, 2014.

31. Took up the matter of inappropriate label, depicting Hinduism deities, on a Beer bottle, Jan 2015. See Sydney Morning Herald newspaper article (http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/new-controversy-brews-over-offensive-ginger-beer-brand-using-hindu-imagery-20150110-12kv0j.html)

32. Australia Day & Indian Republic Day celebration, Parravilla, Parramatta on 25th January, 2015

33. Included as one of 20 Goldmine leaders of Western Sydney by Daily Telegraph (http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/competitions/fair-go-for-the-west-meet-the-goldmine-leaders/story-fngy6zqs-1226881501042?nk=58ed0c98bf8a436c82ec636e42b57043)

34. Co-organised a Health talk with AHIA on Prostate Cancer for the community, Pennant Hills Community Centre, Saturday, 11th April, 2015

35. Took up the matters with Parramatta Park Trust, Parramatta Council and other relevant authorities for a security review and addressing those concerns. Published in newspapers.

36. Took up the matter involving stereotypical comment from a Chanel 9 anchor in regards to Indians and 7-Eleven shops.

37. Organised INDIA DAY, a mega celebration of India’s Independence Day,  Saturday, 15th August, 2015, Parade ground, Old King’s School, Parramatta, NSW.

38. Took up the matter involving gun shots firing at a business owned by an Indian Australian in Harris Park on 11th April, 2015.

39. Raised $23000 for “Help Nepal” campaign to help victims of devastating Earthquake in Nepal. https://yadusingh.wordpress.com/2015/05/28/proud-pleased-to-have-raised-23000-for-nepal-earthquake-victims/

40. spoke as an invited keynote speaker at University of Western Sydney event, Parravilla, Parramatta on 24th Nov, 2014.

41. Worked and arranged the rectification of incorrect Indian Map in a Western Union-Australia Post advertisement. https://yadusingh.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/western-union-proves-it-is-a-great-business-and-cares-for-the-feedback-from-people-and-customers/

42.  Took up the matter with authorities when Billu’s Eatery was fired with gun shots in Aug, 2015.

43. Organized a Vigil for Prabha Arun Kumar on 7/3/16 at Parramatta Park, where she was murdered a year ago.

44. Organized a Meet and Greet event for a visiting ministerial delegation from Uttar Pradesh, India and the new Consul General of India, His Excellency Mr B. Vanlalvawna and his wife, Dr Rosy Vanlalvawna at Madison Function Centre, Dural, NSW on 1/4/16.

45. Organised INDIA DAY Fair to celebrate Indian Independence Day in Parramatta, NSW on Sunday, 14th August, 2016. More than 10,000 people attended the event.

46. Meet and greet the Hon Craig Laundy MP, Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Commonwealth of Australia, Harris Park, 13 May, 2016.

47. Took part in a discussion with Scott Matheson, South Asia Manager for Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) at DIBP offices in Parramatta on 18th May, 2016.

48. Organised a tea and interaction between Indian Australian community and visiting Indian journalists, in collaboration with Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Harris Park, NSW, Saturday, 17 September, 2016

49. Organised Shadhanjali (Tribute) event for martyrs of Uri Terror attack, Dezire Function Centre, Blacktown, NSW, Sunday, 25th September, 2016

50. Participated in a Roundtable discussion, organised by Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Holiday Inn, Parramatta, Thursday, 27 October, 2016.

51. Campaigned for Hindi classes at the weekends at Consulate General of India, Sydney, and achieved a successful outcome.

52. Took up the visa matters for Mr MK and Mr DV with Indian Consulate in Sydney, and achieved a successful outcome.

53. Organised a tribute/Vigil for Manmeet Sharma “Alisher” at The Robyn Thomas Reserve, Parramatta, 2 November, 2016.

54. Attended a charity fund-raising Badminton tournament (for Westmead Children’s Hospital), organised by Basava Samithi, Glenfield, NSW, 23 October, 2016.

55. Attended a charity fund-raising Cricket tournament (for Westmead Children’s Hospital), organised by Basava Samithi, Glenfield, NSW, 6 November, 2016.

56. Organised Australia Day & Indian Republic Day celebration on Wednesday, 25 January, 2016.

57. Radio National profiled FIAN President, Dr Yadu Singh recently. https://www.facebook.com/radionational/videos/10154646233077378/

58. Acting as a key leader and working with multicultural community leaders for Keep NSW Safe  campaign to get section 20d of Anti-Discrimination Act of NSW amended.

59. Invited to present my views for 18c of Racial Discrimination Act in front of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, I February, 2017 at NSW Parliament.

60. Federation of Indian Associations of NSW was one of the finalists for the Australia Day awards by the City of Parramatta Council on 26 January, 2017.

61. Invited as a guest to the welcome event for Prime Minister of Israel, His Excellency Benjamin Netanyahu, Central Synagogue, Bondi Junction, Sydney, 22 February, 2017. Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull, former Prime Ministers (John Howard and Tony Abbott), NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and many Ministers and MPs from both sides of politics were in attendance in this event.

62. Invited as a guest, representing Indian community, by AFL for a pre-match reception and the match between GWS Giants and Gold Coast SUNS teams at Spotless Stadium, Olympic Park, NSW, 1 April, 2016.

63. Invited as a representative of Indian community, for the welcome Reception for new NSW Minister for Multiculturalism, Ray Williams MP, NSW Parliament, 22 March, 2017.

64. Invited to participate in Israel’s 69th Independence Day celebration, Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney, 2nd May, 2017

65. Organising 350th Birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh ji and Vaisakhi at NSW Parliament, 31st May, 2017.

66. Organised Wreath Laying Ceremony, working with Australian Indian Historical Society (AIHS), at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra for Pte Sarn Singh Johal and Pte Nain Singh Sailani at their 100th death anniversary, 10 June, 2017.  They fought alongside Australian soldiers in WW1 and were killed in Europe on 10th June and 1 June 1917 respectively.

67. Organising INDIA DAY 2017 to celebrate Indian Independence Day, Saturday, 12 August, 2017, Parramatta Park, Parramatta.

68. Was interviewed by ABC 7.30 on Census data for Indian community on 27 June, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4v1Dp5ebINk&sns=em

69. Invited as the guest of the NSW Government to attend Premier of NSW’s Multicultural Media Award, Sydney Olympic Park, 30 August, 2017.

70. Q and A with Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Alex Hawke MP, on 20th September, 2017, Madison Function Centre, Dural NSW

71. Appointed Community Ambassador for 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on 20 September, 2017.

72. Invited to meet Australian High Commissioner to India, Ms Harinder Sidhu, along with a few more community members, in Parramatta on 11 October, 2017.

73. Co-organised Dementia Forum at the Consulate General of India, Sydney on Friday, 27 October, 2017.

74. Christmas Drinks and Dinner for multi-faith Community leaders, Madison Function Centre, Dural, NSW, Tuesday, 12 December, 2017.

75. Co-organised Baisakhi and Sikh New year celebration at Ryde Civic Hall, Sunday, 8 April, 2018.

76. INDIA DAY 2018 FAIR, Saturday, 11 August, 2018, Parramatta Park, Parramatta (In progress).

77. Community Education Seminar Series: Diabetes Mellitus, Sunday, May 20, 2018, 2.15-4pm, Wentworthville Community Centre, Wentworthville, NSW

78. Community Education Seminar Series: Dementia, Sunday, 17 June, 2018, Epping Leisure Centre, Epping, NSW (Working with Hornsby Indian Seniors Group and Dementia Support Group for Indian Australians).

79. Community Education Seminar Series: Health & Wellbeing, The Lake Neighbourhood Centre, The Ponds NSW 2769 (Organised by Punjabi League of Australia)

80. Diwali Fair, Holroyd Gardens, Merrylands, NSW 2160, 28 October, 2018

81. FIAN participated in Cumberland Council’s Diwali celebration, Station Street, Wentworthville, NSW on Saturday, 17 November, 2018.

82. Community Education Seminar Series: Law & You, Sunday, 18 November, 2018, Holroyd Function Centre, Merrylands NSW 2160

83. Invited to the Australia Day Lunch, hosted by the Premier of NSW and NSW Australia Day Council in Internation Conventional Center, Darling Harbour, Sydney, Friday, 18 January 2019.

85. Invited to the Australia Day Reception, hosted by the Premier of NSW in Old Governor’s House, Parramatta, NSW, Saturday, 26 January 2019. 

86. Invited to attend Parramasala Media launch on Friday, 15 February 2019 at Parramatta River Foreshore, Parramatta.

87. Organised a condolence meeting, in the memory of 44 CRPF Jawans in Kashmir, killed by Jaishe-e_mohammed terror group, at Dezire Function Centre, Blacktown NSW on Sunday, 17 February 2019.

88. Invited to, and attended, a Candlelight vigil organised by Indian Diaspora Council of Australia and International Fiji Girmit Association in the memory of 44 CRPF Jawans killed by Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group in India,  in Liverpool NSW on 20 February 2019.

89. Invited to attend International Mother Language Day by Cumberland Council at Auburn Library on Thursday, 21 February 2019.

90. invited to, and attended, the Harmony Dinner, hosted by Premier of NSW at Rosehill Gardens, Rosehill NSW on Thursday, 28 February 2019.

91. Invited to a community leaders’ meeting with NSW Multicultural minister, Ray Williams MP, for an announcement of $400K funding of NSW Rigby League for sports’ promotion in multicultural communities at NSWRL HQ in Olympic Park Sydney on Tuesday, 5 March 2019. 

92. Met the Immigration minister in Sydney on 7 March 2019 in regards to changes in visa matters. Previously,  I submitted a report to Immigration Minister re issues our temples are facing while recruiting priests for the religious work. Pleased to know that suitable changes have been made. 

93. Invited to a community leaders’ meeting with Multicultural minister, Ray Williams MP, for an announcement of $900K funding of festivals and events of the Indian Australian community in Parravilla Function Lounge on Saturday, 9 March 2019.

94. Organised Holi 2019: Festival of colours in Prince Alfred Square Park, Parramatta, NSW on Sunday, 10 March 2019.

95. Invited to the VIP reception for Parramasala at the Prince Alfred Square Park on Friday, 15 March 2019.

96. Attended Girmit Day and spoke at Ram Krishna Temple on 17/5/19.

97. Took part in a debate with Manbir Kohli on PM Modi’s victory in Indian election on Voice of India-Monika Geet Mala Radio on Sunday, 23/5/19.

98. Attended “Spreading a culture of peace”, organised by IPYG and spoke at the event in Centenary Square, Parramatta on 25/5/19.

99. Attended the welcome reception for new Multicultural Minister John Sidoti in NSW Parliament on 28/5/19. Premier of NSW was the chief guest.

100. Attend Chand Raat Eid festival, as their guest,  in Rosehill Gardens, Rosehill, NSW on 4/6/19.

101. Attended Australia Telugu Samith’s “Telugus have Talent”evening on 9/6/19.

102. Attended a meeting with Indian seniors in Epping and organised attendance of Ms Li from Transport NSW to explain facilities for seniors on Sunday, 16/6/19.

103. Attended “An evening with Indra Nooyi”, former CEO of PepsiCo in ICC, Sydney on 18/6/19.

104. Took a stand on 19/6/19 for Hitender Kumar, a former employee of Consulate General of India in Sydney. Interviewed by SBS Punjabi and other news media.

105. Attended International Yoga Day in the Ponds, NSW on Sunday, 23/6/19. Organised by Art of Living group in Sydney.

106. Organised “Collaboration and dialogue” meeting for Indian Australian community associations/groups, involving 55 people, Wednesday, 3/7/19, Madison Function Centre, Dural, NSW.

107. FIAN team and I met the Hon John Sidoti MP, Minister for Sports, Multiculturalism, Seniors and Veterans in his office on Thursday, 4/7/19.

108. Delivered a lecture on “Heart Health” for the community at Parramatta West Public School, Parramatta on Sunday, 7 July 2019

 

 

Networking

fianinc1@gmail.com

www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.Facebook.com/dryadusingh

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LinkedIn http://au.linkedin.com/pub/yadu-singh/52/581/864

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/25 March 2018

 

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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Ten Point Charter of FISA:I and many disagree with this impractical charter!

FISA’s charter is completely impractical and useless. We had published our counter points before. I had spoken with a FISA leader in Sydney who could not give us a straight answer.

I ask FISA leaders to clarify about the status of its charter.

Gautam Gupta and Ajay Unni, do you still believe in this ridiculous charter?  Is this still the valid charter from FISA?

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/03-10-09

————————————————————————————————————————————————-

MEDIA grandstanding must stop: FISA is making impractical and irrelevant demands.

We are concerned about impractical and irrelevant demands which FISA seems to be making. We have seen their 10 point charter and considered it carefully. We see some serious problems in their thought-process and offer following response point by point;

1)  Free two weeks board to welcome Indian students:
If Melbourne’s 100,000-strong Indian community gave each student 2 week’s free boarding it would help them find their feet in a new country. (Note: the City of Darwin has launched borders without borders program with the general Australian community along these lines. Sure the Indian community can help with free accommodation). Together we can help students settle easily as many professional Indians have large homes with empty rooms.

OUR RESPONSE:  It is not practical and realistic to expect established Indian Australians to provide boarding for any number of weeks to Indian students. How can one provide such boarding when they do not even know them? There is no justification for such a ridiculous suggestion.   FISA’s suggestion is nothing but media grand standing. This type of suggestion is not going to solve the accommodation issues which students face in Australia.  It is our belief that education providers who make money from these students must arrange accommodation for the initial 3-6 months at a market cost. This would allow these students to get used to the system here and give them sufficient confidence to be able to find the appropriate rental accommodation.

2)     Donate to the FISA victims of crime fund
Indian migrants are one of the richest migrant groups in Australia. Indian businesses and professionals can afford to donate generously to the FISA victims of crime fund so that victims like Sravan Kumar who was savagely attacked in his home in Glenroy are looked after properly.

OUR RESPONSE: FISA is not able to think beyond media grand standing. Any Victim of crime fund will never have sufficient money to cover the medical expense of the nature which Sravan Kumar needs. The ICU fees for one day could be something like $5000 and it could go for more than $100000 for one victim. No community can and will be able to arrange funds of this nature. Making such suggestions is completely unrealistic. Expenses on the treatment for a Victim of crime must be covered by the Gov/Medicare which is the case with the Victim of petrol bomb attack in Sydney. We believe that every student must maintain valid, appropriate and current medical cover insurance for a situation when they need treatment due to injuries or illnesses. This is not the case with many students presently. Ongoing and current medical cover insurance must be a condition for the continuation of the VISA.

3)    Free medical checkup from Indian doctors
The local Indian community has thousands of medical doctors and medical specialists. By offering free medical checkups to students we can ensure they are looked after health wise while they are here. This will also ensure a point of contact that is badly needed.

OUR RESPONSE: Medical doctors will/do provide free medical check-ups in some situations but this is not going to be the solution which FISA seems to be suggesting. Medical doctors cannot provide free treatment in case of admissions in ICU etc and cannot provide free medicines. As before, FISA’s suggestion is completely unrealistic and is indicative of media grand standing.  Again, we believe that every student must hold a valid, current and appropriate medical cover insurance while in Australia and this must be a condition for their VISA. If they have this cover, they do not need to depend on the charity from anyone.

4)    Free legal advice from Indian lawyers
the local Indian community has thousands of lawyers. By offering free legal service the established Indian community can help students on critical issues. Indian lawyers could also join together to lodge human rights cases against Victorian and Australian governments, education institutions and immigrations agents who are ripping off many students with false claims and promises. Lawyers could also help lodge disputes for unfair treatment and discrimination at work.

OUR RESPONSE: Free legal assistance from Indian Australian Lawyers and free service from every Indian Australian for our students would be great but is not going to happen. This suggestion is completely impractical and unrealistic. Our students are getting ripped off by so many and they include agents in India, some education providers  and some immigration agents but we cannot see that our lawyers or other professionals would provide free services at all times. We believe that Federal Gov must establish an Ombudsman immediately to deal with these issues. Decisions from the Ombudsman cannot be challenged in a court. FISA must stop media grand standing. 

5)    More student Hotlines in all Indian languages
we need all community groups to chip in and establish hotlines in all Indian languages. These need to be staffed with qualified counselors. Most students look to the Indian association that speaks their language. Few have heard of FIAV or other umbrella groups.

OUR RESPONSE: Helpline should be in English language and not in Indian languages. All students are able to speak and understand English which is a condition of their VISA. Our students need to integrate. Nobody is going to start help lines in all Indian languages. It would be impossible to arrange funding for such ridiculous ideas.  We leave FISA and FIAV to sort out their turf war in Melbourne. What is the stand of FISA in Sydney where they are part of an umbrella group but not chairing the students’ committee of that umbrella group? They were nowhere to be seen when our committee and that umbrella group held a combined meeting recently. Despite FISA and that Umbrella group’s public stand against the Rally in Sydney, they did not follow their words.

6)    Safety watch committees 
Local established Indian groups could adopt a station to provide community or neighborhood watch committees. If middle class and educated people are at stations at night then the risk of attacks will be reduced. Police are more likely to listen to wealthy professional Indians than students. In addition these safety watch committees can report back to Police and work to reduce poor lighting and other hazards at stations in the poorer suburbs.

OUR RESPONSE: Safety watch by established Indian Australians is not the solution. This suggestion is ridiculous. FISA seems to come out with immature, impractical and inappropriate suggestions. We do not need a parallel security apparatus for Indians in Australia. We are part of the same Australian community and our problems will need to be solved within the holistic approach to safety/security issues. We do need to put sufficient pressure on the Governments/Police to intensify the patrolling, under-cover policing and adopt proactive measures to stop the crimes against our students.

7)    Political power – the great Indian vote boycott
Established Indians have huge political power given that they live in large numbers in marginal seats in the Melbourne’s more affluent east. By refusing to vote for the major Liberal and Labor parties until action is taken to ensure students safety they can send a powerful message to state and federal government. Established Indians should boycott voting for major parties until students’ demands are met and their security assured. Politicians are power hungry and will meet our demands if they know established Indians are boycotting their parties. By boycotting both parties, we will also stop the state and federal opposition’s ‘political play acting’ and get them to vote for real changes in parliament for Indian students.

OUR RESPONSE: The suggestion of boycotting the main political parties is a crazy idea. We, in fact, need to join them and participate in the political process in Australia. We will be more effective if we join them. FISA guys, please get real. Indians in Australia do not subscribe to a victim mentality and we do not want any of us to adopt a victim’s mentality. We need to analyze, debate and formulate a proper strategy to stop the crime against our students. We must accept that some crimes will continue to happen as they happen against non-Indians.

8)    Public shaming of community rip off merchants
in many cases landlords, bosses, immigration agents and education institutions are ripping off our Indian students. Indian community groups need to name and shame these people who are bringing the reputation of Indians in to disrepute and exploiting Indian students. Each community groups could publish the name of ‘rip off merchants’ on their websites so that students know exactly who they should avoid.

OUR RESPONSE: Public naming and shaming of the “rip off merchants” from our or other communities is again an impractical suggestion. It would lead to legal cases and unnecessary legal fees and damages. No individual or association with sane mind will do the public naming or shaming. FISA guys, please get real. Yesterday, the committee of education ministers and federal education minister has announced a helpline which students can call if they have a complaint and they can do so anonymously. They will also be doing a rapid and effective audit of the “Fly by night” schools which have mushroomed in every suburb in Australian cities. These schools need to be audited effectively if Australia wants to continue growing the $16 billion education industry.

 

9) Free food kitchens across Melbourne to help students survive
many students are now unemployed or working for as little as one quarter of the legal minimum wage. (Note: The Sikh Temple in Blackburn in Melbourne’s east currently feeds thousands of students seven days a week and is happy to extend this to other suburbs. But we need more Australian Indians to help in southern, northern and western suburbs.

 

OUR RESPONSE: FISA should remember that they are students and not refugees. Temples should not be converted to Vincent de Paul societies. While community members are able to help on a case to case basis for any genuine or temporary situations, long term free feeding of students would result in too much burden on the local Indian community and might lead into negative effects.  Students are expected to have adequate financial capabilities for their stay in Australia according to student Visa conditions. It is not a bright idea to expect the Indian community and temples to provide free food seven days a week for the rapidly growing student population. In addition who is going to fund this type of “free kitchens for students?” and for how long?

 

 

10) Local Indians to support FISA demands
Established Indians can call their local MPs and lobby them to support FISA 10 point plan for better student safety.
Many Australian MPs are not scared of students because they do not vote and will not take FISA’s demands seriously. These MPs are more likely to address FISA’s student demands if the local voting Indian’s call, email and write to politicians demanding action on student safety. If Premier John Brumby receives 100,000 letters and Kevin Rudd receives 200,000 letters from local voting Indians then they will both act swiftly on Indian student safety.

 

OUR RESPONSE: This is nothing but a cheap publicity stunt and a copy cat of typical Indian politics carried out in Australia in the name of student issues. Both Australian Government and the Indian Government have agreed at the Prime Minister level to take immediate measures addressing student concerns including safety related issues. FISA seems to have run out of ideas in getting the local support for their “10 point” demands and it is a joke to think that Kevin Rudd will act only after receiving 200,000 letters. The Indian community will be a laughing stock even if a few members support this funny idea of sending mass mail.

 We urge FISA guys to think through anything before jumping with suggestions which are laughable and unrealistic. FISA guys need to discuss with others before going on media grand standing with half-cooked and ridiculous ideas.

 

Indian Consul General’s Community Committee on Indian Students’ Issues

Sydney, NSW

PS:[1] This was the response we gave to Indian Link newspaper which asked the committee to provide its response/views in regards to the FISA’s 10 points charter.

[2]Please note that the above-mentioned committee had completed its job and provided its reports/recommendations to the relevant authorities. It had then dissolved itself at the end of June 2009. The committee had communicated its decision to the Consul General on 1/7/09.

Indian Consul General’s Community committee on Students’ Issues-What we did?

Information

yadu singh1

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
Co-ordinator

Reply to:  singhyadu@gmail.com

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.

Committee’s Strategies for Indian Students’ Issues in Australia

No doubt, our students have several significant issues and these issues have been raised with Governmental and Police authorities here. We are very confident about serious actions in these matters. There is no choice here because the International education industry in Australia worth $16 Billion [about $2-3 Billion from Indian students] is at risk if prompt actions are not implemented.

As you may know, a community committee has been formed in consultation with Indian Consul General, Sydney to help tackle these issues. The committee members are Harry Walia, Vish Viswanathan, Stanley D’Cruz, Shubha Kumar and Yadu Singh [Coordinator].Following is a brief description of issues and proposed action plans by the committee.

These issues are;

1.                     Safety and Security:

 

Brief Details:

Several cases of robbery & bashings of Indian Students in Sydney.

 

Proposed Action Plan

 

  • Educate students to REPORT the incidents to NSW Police. Reporting does not affect their VISA.
  • Lobby with Councils for a better lighting around Railway stations, car parks and  alleys etc
  • Lobby with the local councils for the installation of CCTV for surveillance of crimes
  • Liaison with NSW Police re under-cover policing, more visibility and patrolling in hot-spots
  • Educate the students  to be street-smart and be aware of their  surroundings
  • Employers have a duty of care and must arrange them to be dropped off at their apartments if it is beyond 10 PM
  • Explore the issues involving “Work-cover” matters in case of injury/assaults

 

2.                     Accommodation for Indian Students

 

Brief Details:

No assistance on arrival. Many students forced to share crowded apartments and Poor treatment by rental agents

 

Proposed Action Plan

 

  • Lobby with authorities re the provision of 3-6 months accommodation which must be organised by education providers at the market cost

 

  • Lobby with Immigration regarding  this requirement [Visa must not be issued unless accommodation confirmed]

 

3.                     Quality of training:

 

Brief details:

 

Many students are exposed to poor quality of training by educational service providers & shady, shonky or bogus institutions.

 

Proposed action plan:

 

  • Accreditation authorities/bodies to audit the quality of training randomly and frequently
  • Lobby with respective Govt. Agencies to take proper actions on proved cases
  • Surveys from the present/past students re the quality issues [anonymously]
  • Effective and prompt action by DEEWR/ACPET re alternate placement in schools/institutions or refund of the tuition fees if the educational provider goes out of business

 

4.                     Exploitation of Indian students:

 

Brief details:

 

Indian students are exposed to exploitation of all kinds & bullying in part time employment or by educational service providers. They are getting below-award wages in many cases. Some Indian employers are also involved in this type of exploitation.

 

Proposed action plan:

 

  • To advise & educate students about their RIGHTS in Australia
  • To educate them re the appropriate agencies to deal with such matters
  • To encourage/facilitate genuine students’ associations which are largely run by students themselves, not business people with hidden agenda and purposes.

 

  • Indian community leaders to understand the “conflict of interests” concept when taking the leadership role in students’ matters. They must stay out from a leadership role if they are involved with any business involving students [schools or consultancy].   
  • To lobby for establishing an  overseas Students’ Ombudsman

 

5.                              Health Cover, other appropriate insurance matters and  emergency insurance:

 

Brief details:

 

Lack of proper/current Insurances and coverage by some students, particularly when they are on bridging Visa

 

Proposed Action plan:

 

  • Pre arrival Information package-in India
  • Lobby with government agencies re the need for the medical cover and emergency including death insurance.
  • Proper medical insurance including death insurance must be a condition for the Visa and such cover must be current at all times during the stay in Australia

 

6.                Social issues:

 

Brief details: poor communication, insufficient participation in local community events & meetings and poor public behaviour in many cases

 

Proposed action plan

 

  • Communication/education through community Radio, TV, newspapers and website.
  • Encourage participation of students in community events
  • Accept that we are the ambassadors of India
  • Know what is expected in every situation.
  • Encouraging and promoting “when in Rome, do as Romans do” policy for our students
  • www.indianstudents.net.au will be launched very soon with info on Australian rules/regulations, Australian ways, expected behaviour and rights/obligations [There is now sufficient information in these matters in High Commission of India, Canberra and Australian Gov websites]

 

7. Brief details: Indian students are unaware how to deal with emergency situations

 

Proposed action plan:

 

  • To provide information packages on service providers and counselling services
  • Look into possibility of a Community Helpline for non-emergency matters
  • Set up a website and link it to the Indian High Commission/CGI

 

8.   Develop the Indian media leadership group for students’ and community issues. This would give an opportunity to exchange views, form strategies and execute them effectively. India Media group will help in dissemination of the information. We recognise that we need a good relation with Indian and Australian media to be able to do an effective advocacy of Indian students’ issues with various Gov agencies and relevant stake-holders.

 

9.   To set up an INDIAN Students’ Emergency assistance and BENOVALENT FUND

 

10. To seek actively sincere and genuine community members and students for the continuation of the outlined tasks. Most times, Indian community members are aware about the exploiters from our own community. We must take it as our social/community responsibility to do a social boycott of such exploiters. We believe that exploitation of Indian students by Indian community members is the lowest of low and a despicable behaviour.

 

11.  To lobby for some transport concession.It is available all over Australia except NSW and Vic. It would encourage more use of public transport which might also reduce the assaults/robberies of students.

 

12.  To bridge the gap between Indian students and established Indian Australians by reaching out to Indian students, inviting them to social gatherings, mentoring them and providing help whenever practicable/possible.

 

 

 

 

Dr Yadu Singh

Co-ordinator

singhyadu@gmail.com

 

**PS: 29/8/09

[1]. The above mentioned committee had prepared its report and forwarded its recommendations to the relevant authorities.

[2]. After completing its job, the committee had dissolved itself at the end of June 2009 and communicated its decision to the Consul General on 1/7/09.

[3]. This report is being published with the purpose of making the community aware of its contents.