By: Sattwik Biswal
PARENTS are in Australia, their five-year-old daughter Johannah is stuck in Indian since November 2019. With strict coronavirus restrictions on travel in place, it is still unclear when they will be able to reunite.
She is one of at least 173 children who are stuck in India and are trying to return to Australia.
Little Johannah, who is living with her grandparents in India, has not seen her parents Drisya and Dilin for one year and a half.
Drisya and Dilin tried to get her on government-organised flights, but later to find that children younger than 17 are not allowed to travel alone on the repatriation trips.
When they finally managed to arrange a flight to bring their daughter home through a private company, travelling from Bangalore to Sydney yesterday (7).
But, that flight was cancelled after the Australian government banned all arrivals from India.
Dilin told the BBC : “It was our last hope, we have exhausted all options.
“We literally fell apart. Sometimes you get a ray of hope, but then there’s a set back like this.”
The parents also told their story to an Australian Senate committee which is investigating the government’s effort to bring stranded citizens back home.
Lynette Wood from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said officials knew of 173 children who were “outside of their family group – that is they are on their own – who are seeking to return to Australia.”