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Made in India Magazine | September 27, 2021

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The Strangers Bringing Back Australian Children Home

The Strangers Bringing Back Australian Children Home

| On 02, Jul 2021

Anne Hollonds who is the National Commissioner for Children in India has instructed the federal government of Australia to intensify its efforts to take over 200 stranded Australian children back to their home country.

There are some good Samaritans too who are prepared to help these children. Many of these stranded children being catered for by their extended family members or grandparents are now separated from their Australian parents because of pandemic related lockdowns.

Without a doubt, the parents of these children have encountered series of problems and hurdles in their bid to bring their wards back to Australia, such as cancellation of flights and the harsh border restrictions of the Australian government on taking a trip to and from India.

It was gathered that eight Qantas repatriation flights have left India since the Australia borders reopened in the middle of May, with others departing in the coming weeks.

However, there are hardly any tickets for the repatriation flights, particularly for those below eighteen years of age, except when such people are escorted by an appointed guardian, who is ready to accept full responsibility for the kid during the course of quarantine and flight to Australia.

Several parents filed applications for travel exemptions but got their applications turned down by the government, leaving them with no other alternative than to look through Facebook for other stranded Australians they are not familiar with.

The fact of the matter is that the child should be escorted by somebody they know, a loving and trusted member of the family who will take adequate care.

Some of the parents of these stranded Australian children in India are not authorised to travel to bring their wards back to Australia. As a result, some of these parents have resorted to employing strangers in assisting them in getting their children back home. However, these young children may fall prey to unfamiliar and strange people while in transit, even as desperate parents look for radical solutions.

As part of the duty of care measure, the Australian government is considering enlisting different organisations like UNICEF, The Red Cross, and Save the Children, to send personnel to India in order to bring back all the stranded Australian children.

Seeking the compassion of strangers was the experience of Leela Gopalan and her husband who wanted their fourteen-year-old twin children back to Australia from India. These children were stranded after the lock-down in early 2020.

Although attention is being given to the stranded Australian children in India to be taken back home, much of it is being focused on the adults. That is why kind strangers in India are taking it upon themselves to take stranded Australian children back to their home country.

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