UPAA provides COVID-19 emergency support grants to international students

By Our Reporter

While the scourge of COVID-19 has impacted lives of most people across the world, it has also provided an opportunity for kind-hearted souls to lend a helping hand to people in need. One of the most vulnerable segments among the more adversely affected in these times, are international students. These students have to earn their livelihood in an unknown country to support themselves and in many cases, even to provide for their tuition fees. Due to the pandemic, where lockdown became the order of the day, the avenues for earning money became scarce and almost non-existent. This has put the international students through untold pecuniary difficulties. Unable to also travel back to India due to various restrictions, they have been forced to live a life at the mercy of others.

Acknowledging this grave situation, Uttar Pradesh Association of Australia (UPAA) took the initiative to provide emergency grants to these students.

Following an open and consultative process, fourteen students were selected to receive these grants. Notably, the selected students hailed all the way from Jammu & Kashmir to Kerala, exemplifying the length and breadth of India. A large number of members of UPAA came forward to chip in with donations. A total sum of $4,200 was raised and a grant amount of $300 per student was awarded.

Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Sri Yogi Adityanathji provided his patronage to this initiative as did the Consul General of India in Melbourne Sri Raj Kumar.

The support grants were awarded in an e-function organised on the 13 June by UPAA, at the Toorak Corporate Business Centre, wherein the CGI, Melbourne and many other guests participated. UPAA specially acknowledges the contribution by Mr Rahul Singh who facilitated the venue and Mr Karam Singh of Moti Mahal Restaurant who arranged for catering at the event. UPAA President Dr Santosh Yadav and all core committee members of UPAA motivated the students to remain strong in these tough times.

While most students attended the event virtually, it was heartening to see some who were present at the venue. Listening to the views of the grant awardees, it was evident that this emergency support will provide much-needed succour to a number of international students struggling to make both ends meet.

UPAA is forging ahead as a unique organisation with the twin objectives of being a local resource base for people hailing from the colourful and vibrant state of Uttar Pradesh (India) in Australia, and building cultural bonds between India and Australia.

For more information, email info@upaaustralia.org

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