High Commission offers essential items to stranded Indians

High Commission offers essential items to stranded Indians

Who qualifies clarified, the distribution process to be determined

Venkat Raman
Auckland, March 29, 2020

Muktesh Pardeshi, India’s High Commissioner to New Zealand (INL Photo)

 

The Wellington-based Indian High Commission is considering offering essential items to Indian passport holders who are stranded in the country with no relatives or friends and devoid of cash or EFTPOS facility.

Hamper for essential commodities

High Commissioner Muktesh Pardeshi told Indian Newslink a short while ago that he and his officials are working on a formula of offering such help.

“Although our High Commission is shut for direct, person-to-person contact, our officials are working from their homes and a very few of us selectively attend the High Commission for short periods to continue to render services to our clients. We understand that some people from India may be stranded in New Zealand and may require our help. This is under consideration,” he said.

High Commission Second Secretary Paramjeet Singh also told Indian Newslink that he and other officials have been working with the High Commissioner in this connection.

“The facility that we are considering is in terms of providing a hamper containing basic items such as rice, dhal, soap and a few other daily necessities. The exact number of items and the quantity of each of these will be decided in a couple of days,” Mr Singh said.

Mr Pardeshi said that the facility will be only for Indian passport holders who are stranded in New Zealand because of the Covid-19 related government lock down.

Eligibility criteria

“There may be Indians from India (holding Indian passports) who may be grounded in this country because they are unable to return home since there are no international flights. Some of them may be travellers who neither have friends and relatives or funds in New Zealand. There may be some students from India who are unable to do their 20-hours of work and hence no income to support themselves. It is to help such people that we are considering provision of a hamper,” he said.

The location/s from which such hampers will be available, the process of identification and such other details will be decided by the Indian High Commission, Mr Singh said.

Paramjeet Singh, Second Secretary, Indian High Commission, Wellington (Picture Supplied)

The distribution process

“We have to work out the logistics in compliance with the New Zealand government laws of lockdown due to Covid-19 (Alert 4) including social distancing and ensure that distribution of these hampers occurs from venue/s that is/are allowed to do so. We will need a few days to work out a proper formula. We will also consult the relevant authorities,” he said.

Work subsidy for temporary workers

The Indian High Commission is aware that not all visitors and temporary visa holders will need any help. The New Zealand government announced yesterday modifications to its Work Subsidy Scheme, which declared that relief will be available to ‘everyone legally working in New Zealand.’

This is further defined as ‘A person who has a New Zealand work visa or a condition on their New Zealand temporary visa that allows them to work in New Zealand.’

As always, please do not take this news report as general or individual advice. Please contact the authorities for further clarification. The official website www.covid-19.govt.nz contains all details.

Private Sector help welcome

While the Indian High Commission initiative is for only selective Indian passport holders who are in genuine distress, Mr Pardeshi said that he would welcome any help from anyone. They can write to hoc.wellington@mea.gov.in

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