The COVID-19 pandemic is changing our lives in a way few could have predicted. It has thrown tremendous and unprecedented challenges for all of us.
The federal and provincial governments have taken crucial steps, announcing actions to address the acute health, safety and economic needs of Canadians. However, the closure of colleges / universities across Canada has severely impacted Indian international students who have begun to face problems as Universities/ Colleges, businesses, restaurants have closed and hostels are being vacated. Consulate is being approached for assistance by these students as well as by several Indian tourists and visitors who are unable to go back to India and are now facing problem in finding accommodation, food and finances. The travel restrictions imposed by Government of India till April 14 is adding to the feeling of uncertainty.
Consulate is doing everything to assist under the given circumstances. Amidst calls for social distancing and work from home, Consulate officers are going to office and are working to cater to emergency consular services, answering queries on email, social media and emergency numbers. We have also tried to keep our media friends, print media outlets, community leaders and associations abreast with travel and other advisories coming out of India.
However, one thing that is clear is that navigating this challenge will require an approach that involves everyone. We need each other today more than ever. We are encouraged to learn that many individuals and organisations are coming forward to meet the needs of Indians in distress by sponsoring a community kitchen; making arrangement for a simple take-away meal or provide basic rations; providing accommodation / financial loans / help; institute helpline numbers for students to call or a group of volunteers to assist.
While we appeal to you, as a prominent leader of the community, to contribute in whatever way possible, we also need your urgent inputs to compile all existing resources / services available for the Indian students/stranded Indians in the following format:
Name of the organization
Area of operation (Toronto, GTA, Kitchner etc)
Service being provided
Pick up/Delivery (if applicable)
Can consulate share their contacts to needy Indians
You are also requested to give details of any such service being offered by your organization, as well as any suggestions on what could be further done by us at this trying time. The next few weeks will be critical, and the time to act is now. As we enter this uncharted territory, let us all resolve to come together to give assistance to all Indians who are in distress and need immediate help.
I look forward to receiving your response at the earliest on the following emails:
With kind regards
Consul General of India Toronto
Consulate General of India
365 Bloor Street East, Suite 700
Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4
Phone: 416 960 0760