Widespread solidarity with Covid-hit India at Sydney vigil

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By SAT News Desk

SYDNEY, 14 May 2021: Solemnity marked a ‘Solidarity with India Vigil’ held on Thursday (13 May 2021) night in Sydney to support the people of India ravaged by the deadly second wave of COVID-19.

More than one hundred people gathered outside Sydney’s Town Hall in the evening to express solidarity with the millions of people in India affected by COVID; to commemorate those who have succumbed to the pandemic – more than 250,000 according to official figures; and to call on the Australian government to do everything it can to support Australia’s neighbor and ally.

People lit up the space carrying candles and listening to songs of solidarity, multi-faith prayers, and speeches by political leaders and the organizers.

The vigil was jointly organized by Amnesty International Australia, The Humanism Project, Sydney Alliance, Sydney Community Forum, Turbans for Australia, Hindus for Human Rights, and The Indian Crescent Society of Australia.

Mr. Daniel Mookhey, Member of the New South Wales Legislative Council Shadow Minister for
Finance and Small Business and Mr. David Shebridge, Australian Greens Member of the New
South addressed the gathering.

Statements from Alex Hawke MP, Federal Minister for Multiculturalism, Senator Janet Rice, Greens a spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, and Andrew Giles MP, Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism were readout.

Dr. Haroon Kasim from the Humanism Project expressed the hope that the Australian Government
“will help get resources directly in the hands of people that need it the most. Women, children, the poorest and most vulnerable sections of the society.”

“Now this is a time when we should work as a united world family. Global support and
solidarity is more urgent than ever.”, said Abbas Raza Alvi, President – Indian Crescent
Society of Australia.

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Photo- Facebook Live

NSW MLC Daniel Mookhey, whose brother is among the 9,000 Australians stranded in India,
said, “As Australians, we are good international citizens. The responsibility is on us, particularly with our privilege, to share our resources as India goes through its crisis. It is a source of comfort that the patients in a clinic in Mumbai are drawing breath from Australian-made ventilators. It is right that those in the hospitals of Delhi take oxygen from tanks that we have sent, but it is clear that we could be doing more. It is clear that as we emerge out of his pandemic, the responsibility is upon us to share our resources so that India can recover from its crisis.”

In his speech, David Shoebridge, Greens NSW MLC, slammed the Australian Government for
making it a crime for Australians to return home from India. He said, “It’s one rule
for people, who come to this country with Brown skin and come from India, and another
rule for those who come from the United Kingdom or Europe or North America and we must
call that out and we must never ever let it be repeated never again.”

Amar Singh of Turbans 4 Australia urged everyone to keep supporting the cause of bringing
every Australian back, until every Australian, is brought back home.

In his speech, Gurdeep Singh, former Deputy Mayor, Hornsby Council demanded that the
Government revoke the draconian order that criminalizes Australians wanting to return and
to try to get everyone back home as soon as possible.

Other members of the Australian-Indian community also shared their personal stories at
the vigil.

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