I heard about 36-year old Deepak Singh’s suicide in Melbourne, Australia in July 2016. As an international student he faced the threat of deportation due to changes in the Skilled Occupations List and his Permanent Residence application had been rejected. Debt ridden and desperate, there was a moment in time where there seemed to be no better option than to take his own life, leaving his old parents to travel from Punjab to Australia to perform his last rights.
There is no greater pain for a parent. It breaks my heart to see the pressure on our children today and so many of the students and young adults suffering in New Zealand and overseas, and their loved ones that deal with so much sacrifice and grief in India.
I recall a client* who had travelled to New Zealand to study, leaving behind her husband and two beautiful daughters in Punjab. The family had saved and borrowed money for her education as a way out for the entire family. Once in New Zealand, she stopped calling her husband and children completely. I was later informed that she was in a new relationship in New Zealand and had left her prior marriage and family behind. Her husband tried his utmost to get her back but in vain.
A few months later, I received a call from the boy’s father that he had lost all hope and had committed suicide also leaving behind the two girls – motherless and now fatherless. Their old grandparents are now looking after them.
My heart goes out to these young people and their families and communities. Seek advice and counsel with caution and never forget – no matter how bad things look, there is always a way out. No matter how dark life is, there will always be light.