In a concerning revelation, the Indian government disclosed that at least 403 Indian students have lost their lives abroad since 2018, citing various reasons such as natural causes, medical complications, and accidents. The data, presented in the Rajya Sabha by Union Minister V Muraleedharan, highlights Canada as the nation with the highest number of reported deaths.
Canada leads the unfortunate tally with 91 reported deaths of Indian students since 2018, followed by the United Kingdom with 48, Russia with 40, the United States with 36, Australia with 35, Ukraine with 21, Germany with 20, Cyprus with 14, and Italy and the Philippines with 10 each.
Minister V Muraleedharan, while presenting the data, reassured the government’s commitment to the safety and well-being of Indian students abroad. He pledged to address individual cases and work toward preventing untoward incidents in the future. The minister highlighted that heads of mission and senior officials regularly visit colleges and universities to interact with Indian students studying abroad.
“The safety and security of Indian students abroad is one of the foremost priorities for the Government of India,” Muraleedharan affirmed. He assured that in case of any untoward incident, the government promptly engages with the concerned authorities of the host country to ensure proper investigation and the punishment of perpetrators.
Additionally, distressed students are offered comprehensive consular assistance, including emergency medical care, boarding, and lodging when necessary, the minister stated.
Responding to questions about the high number of student deaths, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi noted that a significant number of students were going abroad for studies. He added that individual incidents, including foul play, are addressed by consulates reaching out to families and taking up such cases with local authorities.
The revelation of such a high number of student fatalities underscores the need for increased vigilance, safety measures, and diplomatic efforts to ensure the well-being of Indian students pursuing education abroad. The government’s commitment to addressing individual cases and working to prevent future incidents will likely be closely monitored by concerned stakeholders.
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