Harpeet Kaur is a woman living in County Galway, but she was born in Mumbai, India. Ms Kaur’s parents are also from the Mumabi area and her grandparents, as well as many of her aunts and uncles still reside in Mumbai. Being apart from them during this time of crisis for India has been very challenging for Ms Kaur.
According to the Indian Embassy in Dublin, two percent of Ireland’s population is of South Asian descent, most of whom, are from India. In recent weeks, India has spiraled into peril due to the growing number of coronavirus cases, hospitlisations, and deaths. This has caused some Irish Indians to feel helpless as they sit an ocean away from their loved ones and see the mounting death toll in the daily papers or on the televised news.
“My cousin had come down with coronavirus in April. Thankfully, he is well and no one else contracted the illness, but it is of major concern for us all. Every day we are on WhatsApp speaking to our family and asking them what is happening in India. We are all so worried,” Ms Kaur has said.
Ms Kaur has also noted that several of her Indian-Irish friends who also have family in India are concerned. Some people are worse off than others in the crisis based on their living standards and situation.
“I am lucky in a sense that my family lives fairly well. They are not in the close quarters that many people in Mumbai live within. They are able to stay home and be safe, which I am so grateful for,” said Ms Kaur.
She also elaborated on she and her family’s sense of frustration. There is not much any of them can do for their relatives from continents apart.
“There is a sense of guilt. It’s sort of like a survivor’s guilt, in a way, even though Ireland is dealing with COVID, too, of course. Things seem to be on the mend here. Slowly, people are getting vaccinated. My father was vaccinated. They don’t even have enough oxygen in the hospitals there. People are being turned away. I pray for them. I have donated money. I just don’t know what else to do. I hope that vaccines get to Mumbai- and all of India, all the world- soon.”
If you would like to help the people of India during this difficult time, please consider going to unicef.ie to make a contribution.