9 May 2020 I Non-Resident Nepali Association has strongly refuted suggestion that delay in delivering its COVID-19 food relief caused the tragic death of a Sydney-based female international student from Nepal.
NRNA’s Australian chapter issued a press statement to regret publication of an online news material which, it asserted, suggested that there may have been a correlation between the sad end to the Rockdale woman’s young life and the alleged failure to deliver relief package.
The student, reportedly found deceased at home on May 7, was a management student at a Sydney college. She was living in Rockdale, a popular suburb among Nepalese international students, with her husband, southasia.com.au understands.
It is noteworthy that NRNA Australia has been distributing food packages to international students affected by the coronavirus lockdown. Students who have lost jobs due to COVID-19 have been receptive to its food assistance programme across Australia, including in NSW.
According to its spokesperson Nanda Gurung, 945 international students from Nepal had benifitted from the philanthropic activity up until 5 days ago. The organisation has already spent tens of thousands of dollars on the food assistance programme, it is understood.
NRNA Australia has claimed, through the statement, that its volunteers had attempted to contact the deceased international student but without success.
It is not immediately clear if the deceased had earlier applied for food assistance with the NRNA Australia or the organisation’s representative were proactively attempting to reach out.
The organisation further claims that it was never contacted by the website prior to the publication of the said news report that juxtaposed the death of the Nepalese student with its ongoing food assistance programme.
NRNA volunteers are working day and night to support international students in New South Wales, the press release adds, and that they are now greatly discouraged and demotivated by the suggestion that the tragedy occurred due to food relief not being delivered on time.
International students in NSW are believed to be particularly worse off amid the COVID-19 lockdown and the ensuing meltdown in economic activities. Most other states have announced financial assistance packages of some form or the other but not NSW despite the state enjoying the biggest concentration of international students from around the world.
Authorities continue to investigate into the death of the student and that the truth will come out in due course of time, NRNA has assured concerned members of the diaspora.
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