Australian citizens and permanent residents who remain stranded in India due to multiple flight postponements are now demanding financial support to make ends meet until they are able to return to Australia.
Melbourne man Lakhpreet Singh had travelled to India along with his wife and two children in February where they remain stranded four months later.
Unable to book tickets on the limited flights available, the 38-year-old who works as an operator at a bank’s security centre said he is struggling to keep up with his mortgage payments back in Australia while also paying for his family’s prolonged stay in India.
“On one hand I have exhausted my annual leave, which means I am living on my savings and to add to our woes, we stopped receiving our fortnightly family support income because we have been overseas for more than six weeks,” he said.
- Australians stranded in India demand financial support as many lose jobs
- Families say the government must extend COVID grants and wage subsidies to Australians stuck overseas
- Tickets for five out of six flights from India were cancelled due to capping on international arrivals
'We need financial support'
Now "frustrated” with the lack of flights and the government’s decision to charge travellers for hotel quarantine, Mr Singh has joined the growing cohort of Australians calling on the federal government for "special financial aid” to its citizens and residents stranded abroad.
“The government must start thinking about Australians abroad. They must allow people like us who are stranded offshore due to no fault of their own to access COVID grants so we do not deplete our savings and can survive here till the time we return,” he said.
Click on the player above to listen to Mr Singh's interview in Punjabi.
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