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403 Indian Students Died Abroad Since 2018: Reports

The Indian government revealed that 403 Indian students had died abroad since 2018, with Canada topping the list with 91 deaths. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar provided the data to Parliament, stating that Indian student welfare overseas is a top priority.

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Deaths were attributed to natural causes, accidents, medical issues, and other reasons. After Canada, 48 Indian students died in the UK, 40 in Russia, 36 in the US, and 35 in Australia. The data comes amid recent high-profile deaths like that of 19-year-old Shreyas Reddy Benigeri in Ohio and Neel Acharya at Purdue University.

The numbers highlight the risks Indian students face abroad in pursuing education and opportunities. Over 90 deaths a year indicate more must be done to ensure their security and safety.

A key concern is Canada, where funeral homes report sending 5-8 sets of Indian students monthly. While some deaths are natural, others involve suicide, accidents, violence, and overdoses. Speculation over last year’s diplomatic dispute leading to visa delays also raised anxieties.

With a large Indian diaspora and premier universities, Canada currently attracts over 230,000 Indian students. But the spate of deaths has alarmed officials. After the current external affairs data, cooperation to better protect students will likely be on the agenda during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit this month.

The US is also focusing on Indian student security after recent deaths there. India will ask governments to ensure thorough investigation and prevention mechanisms are in place around campuses and housing. Proactive measures like helplines, emergency response systems, and mental health support are vital. No student should lose their life in the pursuit of their dreams abroad.

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