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How Bhartiya Samaj Trust Helps Indians In NZ

Founded in 1995 by Jeet Suchdev and Roopa Suchdev, Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust is a not-for-profit organisation
Relocating to a new country can pose various challenges, particularly when one is starting from scratch. Securing suitable jobs, finding appropriate schools for children, and reconnecting with one's cultural heritage can all be daunting tasks.
It was this recognition of such challenges that led to the establishment of Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust New Zealand. The trust's primary objective is to provide guidance and support to Indian migrants, offering them a safe platform to seek accurate information, assistance as they settle in their new homeland and to provide distress support.
Founded in 1995 by Jeet Suchdev and Roopa Suchdev, Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to serving the community. Suchdev recalls the motivations behind establishing the trust.
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 Jeet Suchdev, founder of Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust
"In the 90s, Indian migrants sought a platform to engage with fellow Indians who could guide them in the new land."
The trust advises migrants on the laws of the land, provides settlement-related advice, and hosts events and seminars to educate and connect the community.
Jeet Suchdev arrived in New Zealand in 1987 and managed successful business ventures in hospitality and tourism before switching to full-time social work. "I experienced inner changes within me. I decided to give everything up and become a freelance social worker."
Suchdev says he was driven by a desire to serve the Indian community, especially newcomers who often felt lost and lacked knowledge on accessing healthcare, finding suitable jobs, and navigating the education system.
"To address these challenges, we began conducting workshops and providing guidance on settlement-related, job seeking and educational opportunities. We also organised cultural classes for children to help them stay connected to their Indian roots," Suchdev says.
The elders of the families who migrate from India often find themselves isolated and lonely in a foreign land. The trust, therefore, launched a senior citizen group that offers a space for the elderly to connect with social support. This wing also addresses issues of abuse and distress among the elderly, offering workshops and seminars to educate and support them.
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Suchdev explains that due to a lack of resources to address family violence professionally, they created Bhartiya Samaj's sister organisation, Roopa Aur Aap (RAA). 
RAA delivers professional help to the victims of family violence. Roopa Aur Aap, headed by Roopa Suchdev, provides free counselling and intervention programmes for victims of domestic violence and disputes, aiming to educate and empower individuals and families within the community.
Both organisations are also working towards the development and empowerment of the South Asian community, particularly those facing inequality and family violence.
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They welcome individuals and families from all walks of life, regardless of a person's background or country of origin. "We do not discriminate. We serve the community members from adjoining countries like Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh," Suchdev says.
The organisation is organising an event on the occasion of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 8, highlighting its commitment to supporting and advocating for vulnerable senior members of the community.
The trust also offers a diverse array of services through its Senior Citizens Wing, Children & Youth Wing, New Migrants Support Wing, and Social Services Wing. 
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The trust also offers colloquial English-speaking classes for seniors, assists newcomers in job-seeking and settlement, and provides networking opportunities. It also focuses on early years and youth development, offering Hindi language skills for children, overall personality development, and a deeper understanding of cultural values to help children remain grounded in their roots and strengthen family bonds.
The trust's playgroup is particularly beneficial. It encourages children to develop social skills and emotional confidence, preparing them for independence at an early age. For parents attending the playgroup, it serves as a platform for social integration, improving their social lives through the development of new relationships.
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