The Indian High Commission has come forward to help those individuals who are stranded in New Zealand without a job or access to basic amenities. 

The initiative was taken when stranded members of the Indian community reached out to the High Commission on social media asking for help as they have been rendered out of a job, or without a proper visa to continue or start work during this lockdown that started on Thursday, March 26. 

Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust, a community organisation, working for the senior citizens of the Indian community in Auckland has taken the lead in coordinating with different Indian grocery stores to arrange for food and other basic supplies for the Indians in need in Auckland. 

High Commission of India published a poster on its social media asking eligible Indian community members facing difficulties with necessary food supplies to register themselves with www.COVIDsupport.co.nz and email their details to hoc.wellington.gov.in  so that things can be arranged for them to pick up or be delivered if needed.

Coordinating with the High Commission of India in Wellington, Jeet Suchdev from Bhartiya Samaj reached out to several Indian grocery stores in Auckland collecting basic and raw food supplied. 

The food packets included cooking oil, salt, 10 kgs rice and flour, juice cans, sugar, lentils, tea, 5 kg onion and potato bags, some non-perishable vegetables and different varieties of beans. 

Mr Jeet Suchdev on Tuesday, March 31, assembled with his team at 12 Puhinui Road in Papatoetoe, Auckland, with over 15 packets of food supply packets. 

Mr Suchdev and his team of volunteers maintaining the social distancing rule stood with the supplies when they were greeted by two individuals from different households who were affected by the lockdown with no means of income and unable to pay for their food supplies. 

“We were able to get Indo Spice in Papatoetoe to arrange the groceries picked and packed so that the needy individuals or families for that matter can survive for at least three weeks to a month,” Jeet Suchdev told The Indian Weekender. 

People who were in need were asked to register themselves on the Covid support website created by High Commission of India which were then analysed by the team for being eligible for this help. 

All registered members of the community were asked to provide their passport details, contact information, physical address and visa status so that their eligibility can be verified. 

Selected individuals were contacted to pick up the food supplies, or if they were unable to pick up the goods, volunteers from Bhartiya Samaj dropped the good personally to their homes. 

“Since Tuesday, my team and I have delivered at least 30 food packets to individuals located in different parts of Auckland city and at the same time maintaining our social distancing protocol,” Mr Suchdev added. 

Speaking about the support, Mr Suchdev commended the efforts of the Indian High Commission to reach out for its citizens and help them in this hour of their need that has brought the whole country on a standby. 

“It is these times that Indian citizens stranded here will remember that the Kiwi-Indian community did not forget them and did whatever in their capacity to help them, at a place away from their homeland, and I personally take this opportunity as a privilege to serve my community members just as we serve our senior citizens through Bhartiya Samaj,” Mr Suchdev added. 

(All pictures supplied by Bhartiya Samaj)