The backlash has been intense since the Australian government sought to make it a criminal offense for its citizens to return home from devastated Kuwait.
Members of the Morrison government have condemned his own policy, while international human rights groups, including medical experts and the United Nations, have called for an immediate reversal of the Biosecurity Act.
On Wednesday, a citizen challenged the law in federal court.
However, more than 9,000 Australians are stranded in India in a situation where the Australian Chief Health Officer has admitted they could kill them.
Here are some of his stories.
Shruti and Wamshi Prepli – Trapped in Hyderabad
The Melbourne man was trying desperately to allow his mother, who is not an Australian citizen or a permanent resident, to enter Australia during the epidemic.
After repeatedly rejecting the requests, Wamshi and Shruti applied for an exit waiver instead, granted by the Australian Border Force, so that they could travel to Hyderabad to take care of their mother.
He arrived in December before the current outbreak, but Wamshi is deeply saddened that the information he provided about his mother’s condition was sufficient to exclude her from being expelled but to stay with her. They were not allowed to travel to Australia.
“I am fighting a pious war. I would happily live in Australia if my mother was released.
All three are now caught in the middle of India’s devastating epidemic.
Wamshi, 32, fears the safety of his family if he signs a contract with Kwid. Her father-in-law and one of her uncles have contracted the corona virus, and her aunt recently died of the virus.
Now Wamshi, who is worried that he will lose his job if the ban is extended, is losing money and is desperately trying to get his mother vaccinated to prevent it from spreading.
“I’m just breathing heavily through my mask, which now covers both my face and my future.”
Wamshi has moved to Australia in recent years and has a permanent residence, but after the Australian government decided to make repatriation a criminal offense in Australia, he is reconsidering his feelings about his approved homeland.
“It’s like your mother denies your existence. I bought a house, kept all my savings and made my life there.
“The government needs to know what pain we are in.”
The couple wants the government to immediately accept visitors from a long-term quarantine facility as well as a short-term quarantine site, possibly Christmas Island, India.
“How can it be criminal to come back to our house? Honestly, I think it was a dream when I got my residence and set foot in Australia, and now it seems like it was really just a dream.
Ramna Akola – Trapped in Chennai
Businessman Ramna Aquila moved to Chennai four months ago, in January, for an emergency, when the situation in India was very different.
Akola, an Australian citizen who has lived in Australia for 30 years, said he intended to stay for three months – and it was in fact a necessity that when he applied for a leave of absence, the Australian government granted him. Given.
He said that when he first heard that he could be charged with criminal offense if he returned, he thought “this must be a joke or something”.
He said he was disappointed because he had spent years telling Indians that it was a “misconception” that Australians were racists.
“I want to be the guy who says, ‘Australia is the best place to live,'” he said. “Now he’s like, ‘What are you talking about?’ You can’t even go home. ”
Pramjit Khare – Trapped in North Punjab
Pirjit Khare, who lives in Panther, west of Sydney, left for India on March 1 to live with his parents. As an only child, he needed to travel to help his elderly parents who had some medical issues that had recently occurred.
Khare is exploring the government’s commitment to make the return from India a criminal offense.
“I know the government cares about their citizens, but it’s heartbreaking. We’re citizens too. If someone needs to come home, you can’t make them feel like criminals.”
The Australian Border Force granted her an exit waiver after she submitted medical documents to her 79-year-old mother’s doctor about her deteriorating condition.
She had planned to return this week, but now she has no idea when she will return to her husband and 10-year-old son. His long absence is also wreaking havoc on the restaurant he runs.
“Every day my son asks me when I will be back and he has no answer.”
While she supports public health advice on the move, she believes that less binding methods would be available from India to mitigate this risk, which would require the government to fight for the Biosecurity Act – when Quarantine facilities were set up nearby. last year.
He is now in favor of quarantine for Indian visitors to a camp-like residence, including Christmas Island or anywhere else. Even if they have to spend more, they will be willing to pay more for the quarantine.
“They can provide more quarantine services. We are paying them. If it is going to be an additional burden, we can pay a higher price.”
While Khare is concerned about the deteriorating situation around him, a 46-year-old boy has been vaccinated with a locally-made AstraZeneca vaccine. But she knows she is not returning home because of it.
سبرا سومیاجولہ۔ Trapped in Hyderabad
Sobra Somiyajula went to India this year to take care of her mother.
“I traveled to India in late March 2021 with the approval of the Australian Government to take care of my mother and take care of her at the end of her life.
“My mother was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in 2014 and her health has deteriorated dramatically over the past three months – at the point where she is bedridden and in need of permanent care. I also tested coveted positives.
Somijoula’s wife, Narita Nagin, who is in Australia, has previously written that India does not allow dual citizenship – meaning that she has renounced her Indian citizenship to become an Australian citizen.
“What if India demands that non-citizens leave the country or threatens to imprison their own citizens like the Australian government?” He wrote.
Somijoula himself said he felt “cheated” by the travel ban.
“I feel rejected and deceived, that my contribution to the community, my life and my Australian citizenship is invaluable,” he said. “The uncertainty created by the Australian government’s decision is exacerbating the anxiety and deteriorating mental health not only for me but also for those close to me.”
Giant stick. Trapped in Yemen Nagar
Danda’s father, Stander Paul, fell ill in September last year, but it took him months to recover.
“I was hoping they would recover and I didn’t have to come,” he said. “But in the last few months, whenever I got a call from home, I knew it was bad news.”
After several requests were rejected, he was finally allowed to leave Australia while his father was “on his deathbed”.
On April 11, he went to Yemen Nagar, 200 km from Delhi. Her father died just three hours later.
“I didn’t do it with my eyes closed,” he said. “But I didn’t come here on holiday. I didn’t come here by choice. My father was dying.”
“I applied for my waiver through the right channels,” he said. Now you are saying to me, ‘Why did you go?’
Dhanda says he too feels abandoned by the Australian government, which allowed tennis players and celebrities to return to the country earlier this year. He says his wife and son, who are still in Melbourne, do not know when he will return.
“I don’t want to keep anyone [at] There is danger, but at the same time there is danger for me. This whole situation makes me feel like we’re nothing.
The Australian Associated Press contributed to this report.
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