April 9, 2020 | United States
We are writing to you as Embassy of India Student Hub Campus Leads to reassure you that we Indian students in the US are grateful for your concern and are managing with the help of our university, friends, family, Embassy of India, and community support.
The India Student Hub (www.ishubus.com) is an Embassy-of-India-supported, student-driven initiative to help Indian students studying in the U.S connect with each other, promote #NewIndia, and support each other in times of need. We have 65 campus leads across 40+ campuses and are staying abreast of the Coronavirus pandemic worldwide and what is happening on our campuses. Embassy of India Student Hub has also started a 7-day/week Non-Emergency Peer Support Line for basic questions or moral support; we are able to connect students in distress to the Embassy or Consulate for needed assistance.
Here, however, we want to speak to you not just as India Student Hub Campus Leads, but as Indian students studying in universities across the US.
As international students, we have travelled thousands of miles away from our homes and families to not only pursue an education, but to develop ourselves as young adults making the transition towards the ‘real world,’ and future leaders. To us, the real world consisted of not only learning our school subjects but also how to do our own laundry, re-create mom’s cooking, and stand on our own feet in times of difficulty. Each challenge/struggle is a stepping stone towards our personal development. We have definitely been jolted to become more aware of our surroundings, responsible, and mature.
The COVID-19 pandemic took the world by surprise and expectantly left overseas parents feeling concerned. This pandemic is one that alienates and isolates, yes. But the strict government lockdowns, safety measures, and social distancing guidelines are the only way to ensure our individual and collective protection. Social distancing measures include staying at home, avoiding crowded places and avoiding international travel. Though the impulse and craving to have your child securely back at home is understandable, the risk this poses for your child, yourself, and our communities only worsens and lessens the likelihood of a safe reunion. Though there is limited concrete research related to this virus, one thing remains undisputed; social distancing is the #1 safety measure. With rumors and ‘fake news’ circulating in the form of WhatsApp forwards, we implore you to only share verified and trusted sources of information (CDC/WHO/Ministry of Health & Family Welfare) to friends and family members.
We students are all working hard to pass online classes, remain indoors, and most importantly, stay positive.
On that note, the best thing you can do is speak to your loved one regularly, stay positive, and trust your children will make the best of this difficult situation. Our peers in New York, Washington DC, Seattle, Chicago, and various college towns confirm that food and grocery delivery services remain available. As international Indian students band together during a time of need, we have created a network of positivity and support. In addition to the Embassy of India Student Hub, our peers, professors and roommates are here for us. Also the Embassy of India/Consulates and hundreds of Indian community members (including hotel/motel owners, doctors, and caring community organizations) are making resources available for Indian students in an emergency. In short, we students are not alone and feel reassured by our expansive community.
Please continue to build the morale of your son/daughter and remind them of just how capable they are. Remind them that we will get through this together. We thank you for your continuous support and in return will continue to work tirelessly with the Embassy of India and our fellow Indians to ensure that each of us remains safe and healthy through this time of crisis.
Yours, and each other's,
Campus Leads Class of 2019-2020
Embassy of India Student Hub
P.S. Here are some additional resources that you can direct your children to:
- Read the Student Advisory [updated 7 April 2020] found here: https://www.ishubus.com/covid19.
- Register on the Embassy of India student registration portal here: https://www.indianembassyusa.gov.in/Indian_Students_Registration
- Please call the Non-Emergency Peer Support Line for basic questions or moral support:
- Accessing the COVID-19 Peer Support Line
- Call: 414-40-INDIA [414-404-6342]
- Phone hours: 11 AM - 5 PM EDT Daily
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Please reach out to the Embassy/Consulates for any emergencies.