Unable to return to New Zealand, 30 youth lodge protest : The Tribune India

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Unable to return to New Zealand, 30 youth lodge protest

Arrived in India prior to lockdown & are now stranded here

Unable to return to New Zealand,  30 youth lodge protest

Boys and girls, who had returned from New Zealand in March owing to Covid, after a press conference in Jalandhar on Friday. Tribune Photo

Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, November 6

More than 30 youth from various parts of Punjab who had post-study work visa of New Zealand and had returned home before the lockdown due to Covid are in distress. The companies which had hired them are not calling them back to work leaving them in choppy waters as they have been in India for nearly eight months.

Having spent Rs 18 to 25 lakh on their studying fee for over three years and now paying an average of Rs 30,000 monthly rentals from here for the safety of their belongings back in New Zealand, the youth said it had become really taxing for them. The youth, who had gathered at Desh Bhagat Yadgar Hall to lodge a protest holding placards, want the Indian External Affairs Ministry to take up their issue with their counterparts abroad.

The agitating youngsters included those from Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Patiala, Nawanshahr and Batala. Sandeep Kaur, a resident of Ludhiana, said it had been six years since she moved to Gisborne in New Zealand. “I did a course in business management in New Zealand after which I got a job at a restaurant. I had returned home for 20-25 days in March as the restaurants had got closed due to the lockdown but could not return. I have been contacting the NZ embassy for the past eight months for a return but to no avail,” she lamented.

Sukhchain, who hails from Amritsar, said that he was working as a store assistant in NZ but his company hasn’t rang him up for work an he’s now stranded here in trouble. Arshdeep, also from Amritsar, said he was working as a bus driver for past four years. Their families had taken loans worth several lakhs which they were yet to return from their savings but joblessness had worsened their financial situation.

Jyoti, who hails from Nawanshahr, said, “I came here in January as my marriage was fixed for March 4. I was to return in April after starting of visa processing work of my husband Parminder Pal Singh, who hails from Pandori Nijran village in Jalandhar. I have spent Rs25 lakh on paying fee for various courses in NZ, including those in bakery, horticulture and then in early childhood education. I had got a three-year post-study visa when I returned for marriage. But a strange turn of events…and now we are both stuck up here.”

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