Saturday 25 April 2020 12:39 AM UTC
By A Staff Reporter
LONDON April 25: In a video which has surfaced on Facebook, a UK Malayalee shopowner, explains the plight of some Malayalee students stranded in London.
He himself a shopowner, sees a few Malayalee students without job and food and he decides to offer them part time jobs at his shop so that they can manage themselves. However, the students who are shy to take up the offer have gone into hiding.
The shopowner Antony Thomas uses the social media platform to get the message out to all those who are struggling to come forward so that they dont have to live hungry.
On checking with Antony he informed us that he has been getting calls and he is diverting them to individuals and organisations. He is continuing his job alongwith helping the needy at this difficult times.
The plight of Indian students stranded in the UK due to the Coronavirus situation has been raised with the Indian government, with the Supreme Court and with whichever top authorities one could but help hasn’t reached the most needy.
Organisations like Malayalee Association of the UK (MAUK), Loka Kerala Sabha and United Malayalee Organisation (UMO) are in the forefront helping the needy students but there are areas where these organisations are unable to reach out to due to the distance as students are all over the UK.
A letter sent by the Overseas Indian Cultural Congress (OICC) in the UK has asked the Indian government and the Kerala government to take immediate steps to get help for these students through the Indian Missions in the UK and other European countries.
The situation is reaching a tipping point and it may become too late if the required support is not immediately provided, said the letter shared with this website.
The letter states that thousands of Indian students have travelled to the UK and other European cities at the beginning of this academic year to join higher education courses.
These include students who have joined both longer (i.e. graduate level) and shorter duration courses (i.e. certificate courses).
All these educational institutions have now closed until further instruction and these students are stuck in their university or privately rented accommodation facilities.
Many of these students were relying on various sources of income through part-time jobs, third party funding etc. to be able to meet their daily expenses.
However, the current situation is that these students are still expected to pay for their expenses but have no sources of additional income. The savings that they have for paying for their education and expenses are also drying up fast.
Many students are already in deep trouble and unable to find ways to pay for their food and accommodation.
There are very limited avenues for these students to seek help and support. Till date, many of these students have relied on the support provided by organisations such as OICC and other community organisations.
These students are also not eligible for the financial support recently announced by the UK for those who have lost their jobs due to the current crisis.
These students didn’t receive qualified guidance from India regarding such potential consequences when they were applying for positions in universities across the world.
Many of these students relied on the advice provided by unregulated educational consultancies and believed that the support system in their host countries will take care of their issues.
However, the fact is that, many of these students haven’t even registered for receiving health and hospital care in the UK as they were not aware that they are expected to do so.
In the current situation, the GP practices are closed, and these students will struggle if any of them get affected by Covid-19.
The letter was sent on behalf of OICC UK by K K Mohandas who is the Joint Convenor of Overseas Indian Cultural Congress (OICC) in the UK.
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