2 August 2021 10:09

Australia-India governments facilitate medical repatriation of international student suffering from chronic illness

Qantas Airlines didn't charge even a single dollar as everyone involved in the medical repatriation did their best to help the family.

Arshdeep Singh, a 25-year-old international student studying in Australia was diagnosed with a life-threatening condition.

In an extraordinary effort, Australian and Indian governments coordinated and facilitated the medical repatriation of Arshdeep Singh, who is suffering from chronic renal failure, He reached New Delhi on Monday night.

He was received by his family members and Sikh leader Manjit Singh GK along with other officials. Flight no 111 from Darwin operated by Qantas was used for airlifting him.

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Qantas Airlines didn’t charge even a single dollar as everyone involved in the medical repatriation did their best to help the family.

Qantas flew a special plane to India with Arshdeep Singh along with a medical team. Arshdeep landed in New Delhi at 18:10 hrs local time. After his arrival, he was shifted to Medanta Hospital in Gurugram for further treatment.

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His family members thanked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Indian Minister of External Affairs, S Jaishankar and the Australian Federal government for their efforts.

Arshdeep’s Mother Inderjeet Kaur was in shock since she knew about his illness thousands of kilometres away from home.

She Said,

“I’m speechless, I want to thank the Indian government, Prime Minister Modi, the Australian government, Australian doctors who started the dialysis treatment. Almighty’s grace was there. I’m thankful to all those who helped bring my child to me.”

Especially, I want to thank Qantas Airlines. When I got to know about the news about my son’s illness, I was in shock, it was my worst day. I don’t have words to express,” Mrs Kaur added.

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Brother-in-law of Arshdeep Singh, Kunwar Anand called the situation shocking and said the family was not able to handle visa and flights related issues during the COVID pandemic.

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Medical repatriation of Arshdeep Singh; Picture Source: GK Manjit Singh

“That situation was shocking and we were not able to handle it. We didn’t have visas so we decided to apply. We couldn’t travel to Australia since flights were not operating.”

Many commercial flights refused to bring back Arshdeep as COVID restrictions were in place in both countries. At this point in time, the Australian government played a very big role in medical repatriation.

“I want to thank the Australian government, their doctors for providing the best treatment to Arshdeep. We don’t have any words on the ordeal which we faced,” Kunwar Anand said.

Former President, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee shared a video that shows Arshdeep travelling alone on the flight along with his medical equipment.

Manjit Singh GK said, “He is the only son, on June 8th he walks into the hospital and within 1-2 days, they got the news that there was a renal failure, his kidneys were not functioning. His heart is only 20 per cent with an ejection fraction. The family were in a state of shock and we have no place to go because there was COVID going on. Hospital also suggested an organ transplant. This is a very serious case.”

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Medical repatriation of Arshdeep Singh; Picture Source: GK Manjit Singh

“Our government was kind enough to approach the Australian Government, the mother was given a visa on June 17th, but there were no flights operating. Arshdeep’s condition was deteriorating every day. Then we requested the Australian Government to send Arshdeep back to India so that he can get the treatment,” GK added.