The community is coming together to help support the family on an Indian student who suffered a medical incident and passed away in Christchurch.
24-year-old Rajat Kumar came to New Zealand in 2018 from Una district in the state of Himachal Pradesh in North India and was enrolled at a polytech in Christchurch. Rajat had recently completed his studies and was still on student visa due to expire soon.
On Thursday, January 2, Rajat went to work where he collapsed and passed away immediately, as per close associates. Rajat’s close associates also said that Rajat had breathing issues for which he was receiving treatment in Christchurch and he was due to travel back to India on January 17 to meet his family and a get a comprehensive health check.
Members of Gurudwara Singh Sabha in Christchurch was informed of the incident by some of the friends of the deceased who asked for help with his body repatriation.
Narinder Singh Warriach, a community leader and member of the Gurudwara came forward to liaise with the insurance company with which Rajat had student insurance. The insurance offered an undisclosed amount on conditional approval for the repatriation of the body back to India.
The insurance company will conduct its investigation into the death and review the insurance claim once the post mortem report is released by the coroner.
Rajat came from a middle-class family whose parents took a huge sum of loan to fund his education in New Zealand and with the untimely demise of Rajat, the family is now in a dire financial situation.
Under the Gurudwara, a fundraising drive was started on Facebook earlier this week to help Rajat’s parents mitigate some of their financial burdens and appealed the broader community to come forward and support the drive.
“We (Gurudwara Singh Sabha, Christchurch) have $5000 in an emergency fund which was established for the emergency purpose last year, and this amount will be released to Rajat’s family as a part of the fundraising,” Arwinder Singh, from the Gurudwara, told The Indian Weekender.
“As part of the due diligence in advance we have verified the study loan documents and the financial position of the family and are fully satisfied that his family needs our help,” he added.
Rajat’s body was repatriated on Friday, January 17 and his rites were completed earlier this week in the presence of his family and friends in Haryana, India.
“Rajat’s family has been struck with dual calamities – losing their promising young son at such an early age and the mounting debt on student loan repayments that the family has little to no means to pay such a huge debt or go bankrupt,” Jitender Sahi from the Gurudwara added.
The Facebook fundraising page has so far received $11,259 of the target of $25,000, which will be given to Rajat’s family in India to help pay their debts.
“We encourage our fellow community members to kindly come forward and generously donate to the family of this beautiful soul who left us unexpectedly. The proceeds will mean the world to the grieving family in their hour of distress,” Mr Sahi added.
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