Jaswant Kaur’s life shattered by a trip


There are millions of people in Australia whose lives are hanging in the balance. The borders are closed for these people living on temporary visas, so they cannot find any way out. Jaswant Kaur’s son often asks when will he go home. For Jaswant Kaur’s 5-year-old son, who lives in a village near Ludhiana in Punjab, home means Melbourne, where he regained consciousness. For him, home means where his father is and whom he has not met for a year and a half. Jaswant Kaur has no answer to her son’s questions. A trip to India would bring such turmoil to his life, he had no idea. She says, “I had just come to see my ailing mother. Where did I know that I would never be able to go back.” Story of Jaswant Jaswant Kaur lived with her husband in Melbourne, Australia, where she was studying nursing. She went to India from Australia to visit her mother on 12 March 2020. She says, “We are two sisters and Both were in Australia. My mother was alone here. When his health deteriorated, I had come to meet him for two weeks.

On 19 March 2020, Australia announced that the borders were being closed and anyone outside the country should return within 24 hours. There was panic among millions of people. Tens of thousands of people had gone to Australia at that time in India itself. They all started to get their tickets changed. Jaswant was one of the few who got a ticket before the border was closed. She says, “I immediately changed the date of my ticket and reached the airport. But I was not allowed to board the plane. The officials said that by the time the border would have closed two and a half hours before my flight reached Melbourne. On this basis But I was returned from the airport.” Since then Jaswant Kaur and her son kept waiting. In the meantime her student visa expired. She applied again but Australia did not give her a visa. “Tried twice but didn’t get the visa both times,” she says. It is said that my sister is there, so I will not return.

But my sister was there even when I was studying. Then I got the visa. Then what has changed now?” The Story of Millions Australia is a country of immigrants. Three types of people live here. One who is a citizen here. They are either born here or have taken citizenship here. Secondly those who are permanent residents here. Those citizens are from some other country but Australia has given them permanent visa through which they can come anywhere. Stolen artifacts returned by Australia in the pictures In the third category are people who live in Australia on temporary visas. Among them are temporary workers and students in large numbers. Life of these people like Jaswant Kaur is difficult because they do not get government facilities like free education, free healthcare etc. During Kovid, when Australia closed the borders and there was a lockdown across the country, there was uproar in the lives of these temporary visa holders. Melbourne-based migration expert Chaman Preet says, “This was the most difficult time for temporary visa holders because those who had gone out to meet their families, etc., remained there. Those who were here, lost their jobs and for some, they lost their jobs. It was time to die of hunger.


There are lakhs of such people.” According to the data of the Union Home Ministry, there were 2,60,034 temporary visa holders in the country as on 31 March 2020, which is 10.7 percent less than in 2019. No option to return Even after the closure of the borders, permanent visa holders and citizens got the option to return but the borders are still closed for temporary visa holders. And now that Australia has decided to open the borders, temporary visa holders have not been allowed to enter the country. Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the opening of the country’s borders last week, saying that in states where the vaccination rate will reach 80 percent, permanent residents and citizens of those states will be able to come from abroad. Look, these are the safest countries, but the future of those millions is still in limbo. Many people have lost their dream of living, studying or settling in Australia. Jaswant Kaur’s husband has decided to return to India after waiting for one and a half years. Jaswant says, “How long will we wait. Now the visa has been refused. Lakhs of rupees have been spent. Now I can’t understand anything, at least we will be together.”



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