Indian students call for equality at Sunday rally in Sydney

June 7th, 2009 - 4:33 pm ICT by ANI  

Kevin Rudd Sydney, June 7 (ANI): Participating in a huge rally outside the Sydney Town Hall on Sunday, hundreds of Indian students and supporters called on the Kevin Rudd Government to stop treating them like “cash cows” and end what they called racist attacks on the community.

After participating in the rally, they marched to Hyde Park on Sunday, where serveral young Indian men and woman delivered passionate speeches about being bashed and robbed in Sydney, claiming police and other authorities were ignoring their plight.

They called for an end to violence and inequality and urged the federal government to overhaul the country’s education and immigration policy so that overseas students are protected from dodgy landlords and employers and receive the same benefits as domestic students.

Sunday’s rally followed a similar rally in Melbourne last month in which 2,000 Indian community demonstrators appealed for protection from a series of recent attacks across the Melbourne area, and in other parts of the state of Victoria.

The Sydney Morning Herald quoted student and part-time taxi driver Navjot Singh as telling the rally that he was recently slashed across the face with a knife.

He implored police to do more to protect foreign students, saying racist attacks occurred on a regular basis in areas of Sydney with large Indian populations.

“There are thousands of people, thousands of Indians - international students every day robbed at Harris Park (railway) station,” he said.

“We are just talking peacefully, nothing else but peacefully. Go and do your duty at Harris Park station.

“Go there, patrol that area - make it safe, make it safe, for God’s sake, make it safe!”

National Union of Students president David Barrow told the rally that government policy toward foreign students was discriminatory.

“For too long, the education sector and the government have treated international students like cash cows, not like human beings,” Barrow said.

He said overseas university student fees were rising, landlords and employers were taking advantage of them and they couldn’t survive under visas limits of a maximum of 20 hours of work a week.

Rashmi Kumar, president of the Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association, echoed Barrow’s sentiments.

Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell said every NSW resident deserved the same protection under the law. (ANI)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in World |