The deceased Indian student who was also well-known in the Indian classical music scene and had curated several concerts in India and Wellington will finally be repatriated home on a cargo flight this Saturday, May 23. 

Although the deceased's wife still continues to wait to return to her hometown Chennai on one of the incoming Air India flights scheduled to come to New Zealand to evacuate Indian citizens stranded in the country. 

Global travel restrictions and absence of normal international travel is causing much heartbreak as families experiencing deaths of their loved ones in distant foreign lands are facing further restrictions of meeting them for the last time before farewelling them forever. 

The story of 35-year-old Prakash Hariharan - who was a talented musician with firm connections in India’s music and film industry and had arrived in NZ only in August 2019 to pursue higher studies in music continues to stir emotions of one and all after his unfortunate death at a distant foreign land, far away from the family and loved ones got further caught up in the Covid-19 related global travel restrictions. 

The Indian Weekender had earlier reported that Mr Hariharan passed away after possibly suffering from a cardiac arrest on Saturday, 16, in Wellington. The coroner's report revealed that Prakash suffered 'pulmoranary embolism' and was the cause of his death, his wife Deepthi Sukumar told The Indian Weekender. 

He was studying Masters of Musical Arts majoring in Jazz Performance at the Te Koki New Zealand School of Music, Victoria University, Wellington.

“Prakash had some cough and wheezing for the last four days, and we saw his GP who said it was seasonal allergies. He had medicines, but on Saturday morning, while coughing he collapsed, and I called the emergency services,” Prakash’s wife Deepthi Sukumar had then told The Indian Weekender.

Ms Sukumar had also told the Indian Weekender that he was conscious when attended by the medical team but failed to respond after some time and passed away.

Since then the office of the Indian High Commission in Wellington has been constantly in touch with Ms Sukumar with assurances of finding possible ways of Mr Hariharan’s repatriation along with Ms Sukumar who has expressed her desire to be able to join her family back in India. 

Office of the Indian High Commission provides full assistance

In this regard the efforts of the office of the Indian High Commission has once again been able to yield a favourable outcome - even if for a gut-wrenching request - by managing to secure repatriation of the last remains of Mr Hariharan on a cargo flight departing NZ on Saturday May 23. 

Mr S. Doss Jeyakumar, Head of Chancery at the Indian High Commission just now confirmed to the Indian Weekender that the last remains of Mr Hariharan will be repatriated on a cargo-flight. 

“Ms. Deepthi Prakash wants to travel to Chennai as early as possible. We are waiting for the announcement of the Chennai flight as a part of India’s Vande Bharat Mission,” Mr Jeyakumar said. 

Notably, the government of India is running a global evacuation mission - Vande Bharat Mission - and sending its national carrier’s flights to most of the countries where Indian citizens are stranded. 

As a part of the mission, it is widely expected that multiple Air-India flights might arrive in NZ to take back stranded Indian citizens in the next couple of weeks. 

Ms Sukumar might be able to travel back to India on compassionate grounds on one such incoming evacuation flight.