Tag Archives: immigration

the student who din’t come home safe

CHANDIGARH: Nitin Garg, who was killed by unidentified assailants in Australia, was cremated in his native town Jagraon 125 kms from here, on Sunday. The inconsolable family was joined by hundreds of mourners who came to bid their final farewell to the 21–year-old.

Nitin’s father Fateh Chand had died in July last year and so his younger brother Harish lit the funeral pyre in the local cremation ground after his body arrived on Sunday morning from the national capital, where it was brought from Australia last evening.
A large number of people joined the funeral procession from his residence in Vijay Nagar locality of the town. Among those who laid wreaths on his body was First Secretary in Australian High Commission Tim Hiengs.

Higens offered condolence on behalf of Australian government and people to the family, “I expressed my condolences to the bereaved family. I told the family that the Australian government and also the people ofAustralia join us in condoling the death of Nitin,” Tim said. “I assured the family that the Australian government is working on the case and the guilty would be punished,” he said.

The bereaved family, including Nitin’s 98-year-old grandfather Mohan Lal did not make any demands of anybody. Nitin’s mother said that if she knew this will be Nitin’s fate, she would not have allowed her son to return toAustraliaafter his last visit. “If this was to happen I would not have allowed him to return toAustralia,” she said with tearful eyes.
Nitin had gone to Australia about three years back to pursue an MBA course and had returned home late last year after getting a permanent residency certificate. Nitin was attacked in Melbourne on 3rd January by a group of unidentified youth. He was stabbed by the attackers and then beaten up before being dumped in nearby bushes. Though he managed to drag himself to a nearby eatery, he succumbed to his injuries later in hospital.

Thousands of students from Punjab have move to Australiafor studies and the thriving education and immigration industry is worth millions of dollars annually. But the repeated incidents of reported racial violence, particularly targeting Indians and youth from Punjab, may affect the number of applicants.

The others who laid wreaths on Nitin’s body included Ludhiana MP and Congress General Secretary Manish Tewari, Punjab Jail Minister Hira Singh Gabria, who represented the Chief Minister, Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner Vikas Garg, Jagraon Superintendent of Police Harinder Singh Chahal and a number of MLAs.


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the sad case of Nitin Garg

CHANDIGARH: The inconsolable family of Nitin Garg, who was stabbed in Melbourne on Saturday, has demanded that arrangements be made to bring back the 21-year-old’s body back to Jagraon, 125 kms from here.

“We had sent him thinking he would find better career avenues to settle in life, but now we have lost him. We just want that his body should be brought back to us,” said Ashok Kumar, Nitin’s Uncle. “Our son is no more and nothing can bring him back but our government must ensure that Indians that are living abroad are not targeted, so that no other family goes through this pain,” he added. Nitin’s mother is said to be in shock and declined to speak about the tragic death.

The family, who lost Nitin’s father two years back, feel let down by the Indian High Commission and as no one has reached out to them even as External Affairs Minister SM Krishna assured action in the case. Despite assurances of the Australian Embassy, stating that the attack was not racial in nature, victim’s family alleges that Indians are specifically targeted.

According to the family, Nitin had been beaten up by a group at theNewport railway station once before also but he continued to believe that he was safe. But now family of the deceased allege that a racist attack has taken their son’s life, “There is no other reason for his demise, he was a very law-abiding and suave boy, who hardly had any enemy,” said Mr Kumar.

Nitin Garg, who was pursuing his accounts degree at Melbourne, had migrated from Punjab and had permanent residency in Australia, had often repudiated reports regarding racial attacks when his family enquired about media reports in this regard.

A press release, issued by Australian High Commission, has condemned the attack and states that, ‘Australiais a nation that overwhelmingly is an open, tolerant, multi-cultural, welcoming society. That is the image ofAustralia; that is the reality ofAustralia. This incident is to be condemned. Now we have to let the police do their work and find who is responsible.’

The release further adds that, ‘Australiahas no toleration for racism in any form. We want to make sure that people who come to our country, whether they come as new migrants, as students, as visitors are made welcome.’

Meanwhile, Union minister of state for external affairs Preneet Kaur expressed shock and anger over the killing, “We strongly denounce (his killing) and express deep condolences to the bereaved families.” She added that she has asked the ministry to make necessary arrangement regarding bring back the dead body toIndia if family asked for it. She said that she has instructed the ministry to facilitate visas for some family members who wanted to go Melbourne.


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nurses migrating to greener pastures

HANDIGARH: Despite having over a hundred nursing schools and colleges, Punjab is facing an acute shortage of nursing staff in its hospitals, as most nurses tend to choose better pay packages abroad.

The required ratio for nurses is 1:3 in the general ward and 1:1 in ICU, but at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Research here the ratio of nurses in the general ward is 1:27 and in ICU, it stands at 1:6. There are 1,664 sanctioned posts of nursing staff, but there is a 30-40 per cent shortage.

While some nurses are on long maternity leaves, most of them are preparing for the Nursing License Exam to avail themselves of opportunities abroad.

A shortage of skilled medical staff in many developed countries, the prospects of high pay and social respect are reasons enough for underpaid, overworked nurses in Punjab to queue up at English-speaking tuitions and apply for vacancies abroad.

Low pay structure is a major reason behind the migration. The placement consultant of one of the leading nursing colleges here said: “The difference in the pay is reason enough for many as they can earn anything between Rs.16-18 lakh annually in foreign countries, while in India their pay is less than Rs.2 lakh. Also, a huge number of nurses close to retirement try to go abroad with the goal to settle their families abroad.”

It is a normal practice for nurses to get enrolled with private academies around the city to upgrade their diploma to an internationally accepted nursing degree.



After upgrading her diploma to a nursing degree acceptable in Australia, Shalini Mehta is all set to for the IELTS exam.

“The nurses who have settled in countries such as New Zealand and Italy tell us that the amount of respect they get there is unmatched. Although we work more than a doctor, in we are paid less and respected even lesser.”

Inderjeet Kaur Walia, the Principal of the PGIMR’s National Institute of Nursing Education (NINE), the country’s premier nursing institute, admits that the ambition to settle abroad is a goal for many students enrolled in the B.Sc. nursing course.

“The students who do not get absorbed here do look for placements outside. Overseas placement is lucrative but I am sure it is not the only aim, many work as nurses because it is a noble profession viewed with respect.”

She added: “The mandatory exam for nurses in U.S.A., CGFNS (Commission of Graduate of Nursing School), is hardly an exacting test for good students of NINE.”

One of the students from NINE said that last year, 30 to 40 nurses from the PGI went abroad on very good pay packages. Indian nurses have a reputation of being sincere and hardworking. Even this year, many nurses have gone to Ireland on a good salary.

Chandigarh-based INSCOL Academy of Nursing, which has a tie-up with the University of Sunderland in the U.K., offers job placement in the U.K. and the U.S.A. on an average salary of Rs1.5 lakh a month.

While opportunities are many, it is important to exercise caution. They must pay attention to the terms and conditions of the middlemen. “Many a times, the nurses are required to pay 40 to 50 per cent of their salaries for two to three years under the contract,” said a placement consultant from the city.

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