Sign the petition for Dual Citizenship for Overseas Indians

Dual Citizenship

 

Please SIGN this petition below and FORWARD it to others in your network.

https://www.change.org/p/the-honorable-sri-narendra-modi-appeal-to-grant-dual-citizenship-to-overseas-indians

 

Please visit this Faceook page on Dual Citizenship for Overseas Indians and “Like” it. Please share it.

https://www.facebook.com/#!/IndianDualCitizenship

 

Indian Diaspora is requested to SIGN the petition and JOIN in the campaign.

 

Thank  you on behalf of Indian Dual Citizenship Campaign

Yadu Singh/Saturday/8th Nov, 2014/Sydney, Australia

indiandualcitizenship@gmail.com

http://www.Facebook.com/IndianDualCitizenship

————————————————————————————————————————————————

————————————————————————————————————————————————

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

Low Breast Cancer screening rates among Indian and Sri Lankan women in NSW need to change

Free Community seminar for info on Breast Cancer screening

Free Community seminar for info on Breast Cancer screening

ADDRESSING LOW BREAST SCREENING RATES IN SRI LANKAN AND INDIAN WOMEN IN NSW

Did you know that breast cancer is a leading cause of death in women in India and Sri Lanka?

In Australia, the Department of Health and Aging seeks to persuade women aged 50 to 69 years to have a Mammography every two years.   This strategy is adopted because the risk of developing breast cancer  increases with age. Research shows that “75 per cent of all breast cancers occur in women over the age of 50 years.”  According to Cancer Australia, in 2009 the average age of breast cancer diagnosis in Australia was 60.7 years  and, in 2010, 52.5% of new breast cancer cases diagnosed were in women aged 50–69 years. This age-related risk is also reflected in many other studies.

Breast Cancer community meeting BannersLast month, I attended an Indian and Sri Lankan community leaders forum organised by the NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service (http://www.mhcs.health.nsw.gov.au), which partnered with the NSW Refugee Health Service (http://www.swslhd.nsw.gov.au/refugee) and the Cancer Institute NSW (http://www.cancerinstitute.org.au).

At this forum I found some disturbing news:

  1. In NSW, approximately one in five women of Tamil or Hindi speaking background participate in breast screening. This compares with screening participation of about one in two women in the general population.
  2. The vast majority of women who speak Hindi or Tamil in NSW do not regularly attend BreastScreen.
  3. In NSW, Tamil speaking women are about 4 times less likely to participate in breast screening compared with women in the general population.
  4. In NSW, Hindi speaking women are about one third less likely to participate in breast screening compared with women in the general population.
  5. Hindi and Tamil speaking women are the two culturally and linguistically diverse groups least likely to participate in breast screening in NSW.
Breast Cancer Screening Community Forum

Community leaders, members and organisers at Thornleigh Community Centre

Pink Sari ProjectThe “Pink Sari” Project is a community based initiative that is helping to address that – to bring various organisations together to increase breast screening rates in women from Indian and Sri Lankan communities in NSW. The Pink Sari Project was launched at the forum. Over 80 people attended the forum to learn how they can all pledge their support to help save the lives of mothers, grandmothers, daughters and sisters in the Indian and Sri Lankan communities.
One of their strongest advocates is Indian-born, Parramatta-based doctor, Dr. Palu Malaowalla who is also a breast cancer survivor. She says, “As a doctor, I do breast checks for everyone yet I didn’t find my own cancer. Even the surgeons couldn’t find it. It was only on mammogram that it was detected. That saved my life.”

You can view Palu’s interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vc8f0PEsXmE

Meredith Kay, Director of the BreastScreen NSW, Northern Sydney Local Health District said “nine out of ten breast cancers occur in women with no family history, so being ‘breast aware’ and spending 30 minutes every two years will bring peace of mind”.  “Women need to be aware that early detection significantly increases the chance of survival from breast cancer to as much as 97%, and for women aged 50-74, a mammogram every two years can detect a breast cancer the size of a grain of rice, long before it can be felt or seen”.

Studies have identified a number of factors as influencing and/or mitigating attitudes among South Asian immigrant women including those from India and Sri Lankan in relation to breast screening. These include:

• Lack of knowledge about breast cancer and health matters;

• Fear and superstitions;

• Family honour;

• Lack of time;

• Modesty and

•Misunderstanding and lack of English language proficiency in some cases.

COMMUNITY INFORMATION SESSION
Why do we have low rates? What can be done? What is the current understanding of breast cancer?
What are the myths and more importantly FACTS about BreastScreening /Mammograms?

Sunday, 1.30PM to 3.30PM, 16 November 2014 at Ermington Community Centre, Ermington, NSW 2115.

Indian and Sri Lankan community members, associations and media are encouraged to attend. Community members, especially women from Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Nepali background are very welcome to attend.

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/21st October, 2014

dryadusingh@gmail.com

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

(With inputs and contribution from Pink Sari Project team)

Dr Yadu Singh, Sydney, Australia

Welcome to my site!

Let me introduce myself. I am a cardiologist and live in Sydney, Australia.  I am also a Physician or Internal Medicine specialist with MD.

I obtained my basic medical degrees and training [MBBS and MD]  from the prestigious institutions in India. My specialist training as a cardiologist was in Australia which led to FRACP [Fellow of The Royal Australasian College of Physicians].  I work in Sydney, NSW.

In addition to being a doctor, I have a keen interest in any matter which has anything to do with Australia, India and Indian-Australians. I consider myself well-informed about what is happening in Australia, India and the World.

I love my community. I am in the community work and leadership because I enjoy doing it and wish the best for the community. It is definitely not due to any personal benefit.

This Blog is not about medicine. This is all about my political views on variety of issues. I am not a member of any political party. I am a keen observer of politics, however. I am a social/political commentator too.

Australia is my home since 1991. I live in Australia physically, mentally and socially. Australia is my “Karm Bhumi or Place of work”, but India will always remain my “Matra Bhumi or Birth place”, with a significant emotional bonding.

I love Australia and India both. I support Australian cricket team in every match except when they play with the Indian team. When that happens, I become neutral and rejoice with either winning team! [Just kidding!].

I identify myself as an Australian when choosing between Australian and any other identity as I share my value system with Australian value system and Australia is my home. When dealing with regions, religions or languages from India, I am an “Indian” first and anything else second. I love India dearly as it is the place of my birth, but I love Australia even more because it is a great country and it has given me so much. I have no doubt that Australia is a great place to live and work, and Australians are fantastic people. Australia has my total loyalty!

Unlike some, I do not believe that Australia is a racist nation, although I recognise that there are some people who hold racist views, just like any other country of the world. Such people are a tiny minority. Vast majority of Australian people, like any other country, are fair-minded people and are not racist. Systems, rules, Laws, regulations and Governments in Australia are not based on racism or racist agenda.

I wish to see Indian-Australians to be well-integrated among themselves and within Australian general community, both socially and politically. I want to see Indian Australians [only good ones!] in the state and federal parliaments. Most importantly, I want to see much better relations between Australia and India.

I support people of Indian heritage irrespective of which religion or political views they belong to, but  I don’t support those among us who are exploiting our own [students and new immigrants]. I also do not support those who are in the community leadership for personal benefits and do not have any idea or understanding of “conflict of interest”. I believe that this needs to change. It is my belief that it will happen if some from Indian ethnic media stop supporting such leaders.

I am a strong believer and a supporter of the multiculturalism and Multicultural Australia. To put it simply, multiculturalism to me is about freedom to practise and enjoy my own culture, enjoy other cultures, let others enjoy their own cultures and to integrate with the general Australian culture, ethos  and values, which must always remain supreme. I believe in integration, not segregation. I like good and decent people from all sections of the Australian society, irrespective of their race, religion, beliefs, culture or political persuasion.

I have been active  in the community over the years. Details can be found here.  http://tinyurl.com/7opu4tv

I encourage you to go through my Blog and make comments, if necessary. I want to network with you and encourage you to join me via Twitter, Facebook or  this Blog.

I recognise that you may not agree with every thing I say, have said, do, or have done. Irrespective of that, I encourage you to join me in debating on these matters, provided you have something positive to contribute.

I value your views, as long as you identify yourself while making your comments. I respect even those who do not agree with me, provided they are advancing a honestly held view point.

I am keen to network with people from wide spectrum of fields, using face to face interactions and social media.

I can  be reached via  dryadusingh@gmail.com,  www.twitter.com/dryadusingh and www.facebook.com/dryadusingh and Linkedin http://au.linkedin.com/pub/yadu-singh/52/581/864.

 

Thank you for visiting my site.

With best regards

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/Australia

www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

http://www.linkedin.com/in/dryadusingh

(Edited 29th Sept, 2014)

Expectations from Prime Minister Modi

Dr Yadu SinghSydney, 14th November, 2014

Expectations from the Modi Govt

Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, is visiting Australia between 15th and 18th Nov, 2014. After attending G20 summit in Brisbane on 15th and 16th November, he will start his state visit. Indian community is excited with this visit. This is the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister after PM Rajiv Gandhi visited Australia in 1986. PM Modi will interact with the community in Sydney and Melbourne, in addition to addressing a Joint session of Australian Parliament.

Prime Minister Modi’s image is that of a decisive and a “can do” leader. Indians, not just in India but around the world, are optimistic that things will change for the better and the Indian economy will grow rapidly.

When I wrote a post in June, 2014, I mentioned many things which people expected. Many of those things have either been delivered or getting delivered. Prime Ministerial visit to Australia is one of them. Nuclear trade deal has already been signed when Prime Minister Tony Abbott visited India in September. Australian citizens getting the facility of Visa on arrival in India is another one which is in the process of getting implemented. Serious work is in progress in regards to Black money, stashed in overseas Banks. Supreme Court’s activism is playing an important role in it. Investigations and prosecutions are likely to commence soon. Based on my interactions with many Indians in Australia, there are a few more things that people expect the new government to deliver.

Genuine dual citizenship: This has been discussed and debated for long. There is an almost universal demand that overseas Indians be given a right to hold genuine dual citizenship with voting and property rights, if the country of their citizenship has no issue with this and if there are no security issues with granting dual citizenship to any particular overseas Indian. If USA, UK, Australia and most of developed and democratic countries as well as some countries in the region see no issues in granting dual citizenship to their citizens, then people argue that there is no rational basis for India to deny dual citizenship to Indians. PM Modi has the political capital to deliver this long-standing demand. A petition and campaign for Dual citizenship is running on Change.org (http://tinyurl.com/kxtlosw) and Social media presently (http://tinyurl.com/m4b4luu).

Effective anti-corruption body: A group of 10-15 people from civil society including eminent jurists and overseas Indians (if possible) as well as politicians should be asked to review the Lokpal Act, passed by the Lok Sabha earlier, and suggest steps to rectify weaknesses to make it an effective corruption fighting body. Such body should have sufficient resources to discharge its functions. Unlike previous Govts, this whole process to fine-tune this should not take more than one year from the time NDA Govt took office.

The PM’s global Overseas Indians Advisory body: The PM should revamp his Global Advisory Body, constituted by the previous Govt. People in it should be those who have significant presence, influence and interactions among Indians in their countries. The practice of Indian diplomats recommending their sycophants to become members of this body should be done away with.

Country specific Overseas Indian Advisory body: Countries with significant overseas Indian populations (Australia is certainly one such country) should have an advisory body of not more than 10 people, which can be used for consultations and other advisory purposes, not only by the local GOI authorities/agencies, but also the relevant authorities/agencies in India. Its term should be for not more than 2 years.

Annual consultation between High Commission and Community: Previous High Commissioner of India in Australia, and current External Affairs Secretary, Smt Sujatha Singh, started a novel, and productive, mechanism to meet the community representatives in Canberra on a yearly basis. Representatives from all over Australia would assemble on a weekend to discuss and suggest things to Indian diplomats. Current High Commissioner, Biren Nanda, did not continue this practice. The communication from High Commission and community has been limited and confined to a small group of people, who are close to HCI. Previous practice of community consultation needs to be reactivated.

Annual dialogue between Indian and Australian leaders: Indian Australians will like to see formal and regular annual meetings between PMs, Foreign Affairs Ministers and Defence Ministers, with venues alternating between India and Australia.

Free Trade Agreement (FTA): The pace of the discussions and negotiations should be accelerated so that FTA can be concluded by the end of 2015. This will accelerate bilateral trade which has come down to about $15 billion from previous high of $21 billion. This is important as Australia already has FTAs with Japan, South Korea and China.

Bilateral and multi-lateral defence exercises between India and Australia: India and Australia should work actively to enhance their defence & strategic relations bilaterally and multilaterally in the pattern agreed prior to the 2007 Rudd Govt in Australia.

Hindi teachings in Australian Universities: To increase India’s soft power and increase the numbers of India-literate Australians, India should consider seriously funding such teaching courses in at least one University each in Sydney and Melbourne. Discussions should be had between relevant authorities to explore equal sharing of cost between Australia and India.

Facilitations of Australian Universities and TAFE to have campuses in India: Many Australian institutions are ranked quite highly in various world Universities ranking systems. Collaborations in this field should be actively facilitated and encouraged, following a pragmatic and win-win module. Indian regulations to facilitate this should be considered.

Recognition of TAFE diploma in India: Many Indian students come to Australia to train in TAFE institutes. Many then move on to Universities to complete degrees. In addition to the diplomas not being recognised to the extent that the students wanting to pursue this study in Australia do not even get the education loans, Association of Indian Universities (the peak body responsible for recognising foreign degrees) does not recognise even Bachelor degrees that may have resulted from a credit transfer after a diploma resulting in the degree component being lesser than 3 year duration. (Diploma to Degree). This is a unique feature of Australian Qualification framework and so should be understood by Educational authorities. Quite a good numbers of Indians in Australia have earned their degrees through this pathway. TAFE institutes are a unique institution and it will be beneficial for India to consider recognizing diplomas from TAFE.

Bilateral Internship positions for Australians and Indians: Institutes and Universities of repute in both countries should be encouraged to develop mechanisms to have short term (3-6 months) placements for students and researchers to enhance collaboration in science and research.

Indian media’s bureau/representatives in Australia: During 2009-10, Indian media reported issues involving Indian students in an exaggerated way, erroneously attributing racism in literally every incident. They did not interact with local long-term Indians. It was harder for media to have a grasp of the ground realities. It will be helpful if key media outlets consider basing their representatives in Australia to cover Oceania. With increasing trade related activities between Australia and India and with increased number of Indians here, there could be sufficient justification for such decisions. Indian Govt can encourage media houses to take up this matter. A good beginning could be of a posting a full time Press Trust of India (PTI) reporter in Australia.

Indian Consulate in Brisbane: Queensland is an important state for Indian investment. Indian business houses like the Adani group have an important and a significant presence in this state. It is important to have an Indian Consulate in Brisbane.

India House or Indian Cultural Centre in major capital cities: There are more than 500,000 people of Indian heritage in Australia, with a big concentration in Sydney and Melbourne. People believe that there should be Indian cultural centers in Australia, at least in Sydney and Melbourne. While some funding will be raised locally, a significant part of the funds should come from Indian Govt. Govt of India (GOI) Funds, if any, allocated for something of this nature to be established in the Indian Consulate premises in Sydney CBD should be reviewed and re-allocated for a center of this nature in areas like Parramatta or Blacktown, where the Indian community has a substantial presence. Sydney CBD is not a practical or appropriate site for an Indian Cultural Centre.

Overseas Indians’ property in India: Many overseas Indians are seeing that their properties are illegally occupied and face threats to their safety when they visit India. Court cases go on for extended periods of time. Indian Penal Code and relevant laws should be amended to tackle this menace.

Interactions between GOI agencies and Indian Australian community: It is often felt that GOI authorities in Australia do not interact with people sufficiently, thus leading to a communication gap. It is a common experience that there is a significant gap between what we expect and what is delivered. It is also felt that GOI officials often get embroiled in local community politics and play “favoritism” games depending on who they like or dislike. It is quite irrational and subjective. Steps should be implemented to improve the situation.

Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs visit to Australia: With approx. 500,000 people of Indian heritage in Australia, a biennial visit of Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs (The Hon Sushma Swaraj) or her deputy, The Hon Gen (Retd) V K Singh or External Affairs Secretary, should be included in the official GOI travel calendar. This will help facilitate interactions with the community and facilitate Overseas Indians’ investment in India.

Streamlined grievance redressal mechanism for Overseas Indians: Overseas Indian Affairs ministry has often not been very helpful and help has often not come in a timely fashion due to excessive bureaucratic influences. This should be reviewed and streamlined.

Exchanges between Academicians and civil Society leaders: We need regular bilateral exchange visits of academics, journalists, leaders and civil society leaders. This will help improve relations between the two countries. The scope and numbers should be increased.

In summary, it will be of mutual benefit to the community in Australia and India if the Indian government is proactive in considering the interests and welfare of the Indian community down under.

 

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/14th November, 2014

dryadusingh@gmail.com

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

au.linkedin.com/in/dryadusingh/

 

Press release on Dual Citizenship

Dr Yadu SinghSydney, Australia

14th November, 2014

Press Release

Indian community in Australia starts an online campaign to urge Indian Prime Minister, Sri Narendra Modi, to grant dual citizenship to overseas Indians.

Spokesperson for the campaign and President of Indian Australian Association of NSW Inc, Dr. Yadu Singh said “It’s time that Indian government grants NRIs dual citizenship”.

He further said “There are an estimated 25 million non-resident Indians (NRIs), people of Indian origin (PIOs) and overseas citizens of India (OCIs) spread across more than 200 countries. Cumulatively, they contributed about $70 billion in remittances to India in 2013-14”.

“The recent changes in the PIO and OCI cards announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi are welcome, but they do not meet the long-term demand of dual citizenship by overseas Indians”.

“The overseas citizenship card (OCC) falls well short of genuine dual citizenship. Many of us overseas Indians have been demanding genuine dual citizenship, with full political and economic rights in India on par with the rights enjoyed by Indian citizens. Former attorney general Soli Sorabjee was right in stating in 2005: “If we want to involve the diaspora, then we can’t deny them the right to vote or the right to occupy important office.”

Overseas Indians, whether they hold Indian passports or have foreign passports, have an emotional bond with India. That holds true for a majority of people of Indian heritage. When major democratic and developed countries like USA, Canada, UK and Australia have no issue with dual citizenship, there can’t be a real justification for India to treat its own people unfavourably.

The promise of dual citizenship was made by former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in 2003. Since then there have been statements from senior politicians about them favouring dual citizenship. But the matter has not progressed further. Statements are not enough. The following actions should be taken: 1. Granting Indian passports (dual citizenship) to overseas citizens of Indian heritage with full political and economic rights 2. Granting of convenient voting rights to such dual passport-holding overseas Indians as well as overseas Indians with Indian passports (NRIs), which can be exercised either at the consulate, high commission or embassy premises in their country of residence and through postal or online facilities.

India should consider taking a cue from Australia’s repeal of Section 17 of the Australian Citizenship Act 1948 that took effect from April 2002 permitting dual citizenship.

Dr Singh also said “It is important for second and subsequent generations of Indians, besides first generation, to stay emotionally and politically connected with India. Dual citizenship will make it more likely that this will happen”.

Prime Minister Modi has the political capital, strength in the Parliament and the goodwill for/from the overseas Indians, who supported him massively, to get the Parliament to grant dual citizenship to Overseas Indians.

The campaign has just started from Australia. It has created great excitement in Indian community. It is gaining momentum and it will get enthusiastic support from Indian diaspora all over the world, particularly United States of America, Canada, UK and Australia. It will continue to be run until India sees merits in granting dual citizenship.

Dr. Singh said “I will make an appeal to PM Modi personally if there is an opportunity to meet him”.

Appeal is run via Change.org (https://www.change.org/p/the-honorable-sri-narendra-modi-appeal-to-grant-dual-citizenship-to-overseas-indians and Social media (www.facebook.com/IndianDualCitizenship)

Further comment: Dr Yadu Singh, dryadusingh@gmail.com +61 413 375 669

Opinion piece on dual citizenship in The Economic Times

Dr Yadu SinghIt’s time Indian government granted NRIs dual citizenship

October 31, 2014, 4:16 am IST in ET Commentary | India | ET

There are an estimated 25 million non-resident Indians (NRIs), people of Indian origin (PIOs) and overseas citizens of India (OCIs) spread across more than 200 countries. Cumulatively, they contributed about $70 billion in remittances to India in 2013-14. The recent changes in the PIO and OCI cards announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi are welcome.

But they do not meet the long-term demand of dual citizenship by overseas Indians. The overseas citizenship card (OCC) falls well short of genuine dual citizenship. Many of us overseas Indians have been demanding genuine dual citizenship, with full political and economic rights in India on par with the rights enjoyed by Indian citizens. Former attorney general Soli Sorabjee was right in stating in 2005: “If we want to involve the diaspora, then we can’t deny them the right to vote or the right to occupy important office.”

Overseas Indians, whether they hold Indian passports or have foreign passports, have an emotional bond with India. That holds true for a majority of people of Indian heritage. When major democratic and developed countries have no issue with dual citizenship, there can’t be a real justification for India to treat its own people unfavourably.

The promise of dual citizenship was made by former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in 2003. Since then there have been statements from senior politicians about them favouring dual citizenship. But the matter has not progressed further. Statements are not enough. The following actions should be taken: 1. Granting Indian passports (dual citizenship) to overseas citizens of Indian heritage with full rights including voting and political rights. 2. Granting of convenient voting rights to such dual passport-holding overseas Indians as well as overseas Indians with Indian passports (NRIs), which can be exercised either at the consulate, high commission or embassy premises in their country of residence and through postal or online facilities.

India should consider taking a cue from Australia’s repeal of Section 17 of the Australian Citizenship Act 1948 that took effect from April 2002 permitting dual citizenship.

(The author is a resident of Sydney, Australia)

http://blogs.economictimes.indiatimes.com/et-commentary/its-time-indian-government-granted-nris-dual-citizenship/ http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31816&articlexml=Give-Us-This-Day-Our-Dual-Citizenship-31102014015034# OPED_Oct31_CAP

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Dr Yadu Singh, Sydney, Australia/4th Nov, 2014

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

au.linkedin.com/in/dryadusingh/

Happy Diwali

Sydney, 23rd October, 2014

Happy Diwali 

May this Diwali bring you and your family all the joy, success, health and wealth!

May there be Peace in the whole world!

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

On This Diwali Lets pray to Almighty God for :

ॐ असतो मा सद्गमय ।
तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय ।
मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय ।
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥
Om Asato Maa Sad-Gamaya |
Tamaso Maa Jyotir-Gamaya |
Mrtyor-Maa Amrtam Gamaya |
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||

Meaning:
1: Om, Lead us from Unreality (of Transitory Existence) to the Reality (of Self),
2: Lead us from the Darkness (of Ignorance) to the Light (of Spiritual Knowledge),
3: Lead us from the Fear of Death to the Knowledge of Immortality.
4: Om Peace, Peace, Peace.

 Brihadaranyaka, Upanishad 1.3.28

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Happy Diwali! Happy new year!!

From Dr Yadu Singh & family

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

au.linkedin.com/in/dryadusingh/

Heartless and outrageous: a national inquiry needed to fine-tune surrogacy

Sydney, 9th October, 2014

Reading the newspapers this morning, I feel concerned and perturbed with some issues around surrogacy.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/australian-couple-abandons-surrogate-baby-in-india-20141008-113cmk.html

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/10/08/calls-national-inquiry-after-another-australian-couple-abandon-surrogate-baby

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/foreign-affairs/former-foreign-ministers-dont-recall-abandoned-india-surrogate-baby/story-fn59nm2j-1227084574732

Only recently, we were told that  baby Gammy was abandoned by an Australian couple in Thailand, because he has Down’s syndrome. His twin sister, who was healthy, was brought to Australia. http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2014/s4089822.htm

In the currently reported case, which has been investigated by ABC, and reported extensively, an agency arranged a surrogate mother in India, who gave birth to twins in 2012. Australian family took only one child, based on the gender, but did not bring the other child to Australia.

They did this, despite efforts from Australian High Commission in India, which tried to persuade the couple to bring both children to Australia. They even delayed issuing visa to encourage the couple to change their minds. It has been reported that an Australian politician pressured Australian High Commission to help this couple. Former Australian Foreign Affairs ministers, Bob Carr and Kevin Rudd, have denied that they were involved in pressuring Australian Consular officials.

Who is this politician then? I think Australians deserve to know his/her name.

http://www.surrogacyaustralia.org/about-us/general-info-on-overseas-surrogacy link provides how surrogacy operates, and is conducted.

I have no doubt that surrogacy plays a very important role in helping childless parents.

Family Court Chief Justice, Diana Bryant, has been quoted that the abandoned child was passed on to another family and money possibly changed hands to facilitate this. She thought this amounted to “child trafficking”.

Federal Circuit Court Chief Judge, John Pascoe, has asked for a national inquiry into surrogacy.

I am unable to understand how parents abandon children born out of surrogacy arrangements. These children are their own.

I am also concerned about gender or the health of the child being used as a factor in this decision. The question is who is responsible for the abandoned child. The answer to this is that it can not be the surrogate mother unless she makes an informed decision to agree to it by keeping the baby with her. Commissioning parents must be the ones who should be responsible for looking after the kid (s) born out of surrogacy arrangements.

It is not only a moral issue, but it clearly is a legal issue too.

A national inquiry is indeed needed to fine-tune and streamline surrogacy in Australia.

Dr Yadu Singh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.facebook.com/dryadusingh