Stepping up to help students in Wollongong

Dr Rohan Choudhari and his wife are generously providing Sunday lunches to students in need this lockdown.

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Having arrived in Australia as an international student himself, Dr Rohan Choudhari is no stranger to the struggles of the community. Now, as NSW braces for an extended lockdown, he’s decided to do his part to help them out.

His family will be organising lunch every Sunday afternoon for any student in the Wollongong area who has lost their job and is struggling to make ends meet.

“We’ve all been going through a hard time. Humanity is suffering a lot at the moment so my wife and I decided to do what we could,” he explained.

Dr Choudhari drew inspiration from a friend in Sydney who had offered a similar service for international students in Parramatta last year.

This time, he wanted to bring the kind gesture to the regional area.

“We moved to Wollongong last year and immediately noticed there’s a huge student community here. Since my wife and I both love to cook, we figured why not start this initiative? It’s such an easy thing but it can really make a difference,” Dr Choudhari told Indian Link.

The family, originally from Kolkata, will be preparing delicious Bengali and North Indian dishes for any students who would like to take up their offer. They are planning for a maximum of 15 sign-ups a week.

“Because of travel restrictions within 10 kilometres, I understand that it could be difficult for students to pick up lunch, so I’d be happy to deliver to a central meeting point in Wollongong if that helps,” he offered.

A specialist trainee at Wollongong Hospital and Campbelltown Hospital, he believes there’s nothing more satisfying than helping others. Outside of his medical vocation, this is an extra step he’s happy to take for the community.

Dr Choudhari explained, “There was a point when we were very optimistic about how NSW was handling the pandemic. The new wave is concerning, so we need to take it seriously, be mindful, and be careful.”

Like many in the community here, his family back in India has also been impacted by the pandemic. He hopes initiatives like this will keep hopes up in Wollongong and help those who need it most.

“Everything changed in NSW within 3 weeks. I hope students take up this offer and we all do our part during this difficult lockdown,” he said.

The family will be taking lunch confirmations up until Friday evenings, 8 PM for Sunday. If you’re interested, kindly drop a message on 0415 705 232.

READ ALSO: DD’s Kitchen: when social work runs in the family

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Rhea L Nath
Rhea L Nath
Rhea L Nath is a writer and editor based in Sydney. In 2022, she was named Young Journalist of the Year at the NSW Premier's Multicultural Communications Awards.

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