Ambassador Eric Garcetti Says ‘Indian Students Safe In US’

Amid the various cases of deaths of Indian and Indian-origin students being reported in US since January, US Ambassador Eric Garcetti said on Friday during an interview at the American Center in Delhi that United States is a safe country and cares deeply for the well-being of Indian students. He also assured the parents of Indian students that their children are America’s children as well, when they are in the US. 

Although US remains a preferred destination among Indian students for higher education, the recent cases have raised concern among the Indian population and Indo-American community.

“We care so deeply for the well-being of Indian students in the US. We want parents to know that their children are our children when they are in United States. And, there is a wealth of resources that can help students prepare in the US, whether it is mental health and resources for that being far away for home, parents and families,” Garcetti told news agency PTI.

While lamenting these tragic deaths in the past few months, the Garcetti asserted that US is a safe country, underlining that students studying abroad should familiarise themselves, have trusted friends and network, and must know what to do in a dangerous situation, or a mental health issue.

The US envoy also highlighted that students going to pursue their studies in the US should know that there are local law enforcements, campus securities, which sometimes students just don’t know in a new country.

Praising the American universities, he said that they are extraordinary places to come to and offer overwhelming experience to students, including Indian students. 

Asserting that the United States is a safe country again, the former mayor of Los Angeles said that there are a lot of resources to help students feel protected. “But if they don’t reach out, we might not know about the incidents, before it is too late,” Garcetti said.

In view of the numerous cases being reported in US of Indian students being killed, missing, and found dead under mysterious circumstances, Garcetti stated that US aims to provide students and their parents with required resources to help them stay safe including websites, ways to familiarise themselves, and links to organisations.

Garcetti stated that the US consular team issued visas to around 1,40,000 Indian students. Refering to the data, he said that if such a record number is recorded then these tragic incidents can be seen anywhere be it US or India. He further urged students to adhere to campus safety briefings carefully.

Quashing claims that Indian students are being targetted in US, he cited S Jaishankar saying that even India’s External Affairs Minister said that there is no evidence of any connection of any targeting of Indian students.

When asked if the US authorities took steps to ensure such incidents do not recur, Garcetti said, “Many things… We care about the well-being of all students in US, including American students.”

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