Updated: April 7, 2010 15:49 IST

Months after racial attack, Shravan gets permanent residency

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This August 2009 file photo shows External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna meeting with Shravan Kumar who was brutally assaulted by a group of teenagers, in Melbourne, Australia.
PTI This August 2009 file photo shows External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna meeting with Shravan Kumar who was brutally assaulted by a group of teenagers, in Melbourne, Australia.

Indian student Shravan Kumar, whose images last year had shocked people back home following a brutal racial attack on him here, has been granted permanent residency by the Australian government.

“I am doing well now and Australian government has granted me permanent residency,” said 26-year-old Shravan, who is still recovering from the injuries received in May last year when a group of teens had attacked him with a screwdriver which pierced through his brain damaging his vision.

He said he was delighted that he now had a PR status, which he received last week, and would be entitled to all benefits available.

Mr. Shravan, who remained comatose for 15 days after the attack which also left three of his Indian friends injured, told PTI that he is now managing most of his daily chores himself after months of rehabilitation.

The Indian youth, who came to Australia three years ago to study automotive engineering at Cambridge International College here, said “I have not been able to finish my course as I am still on the recovery path.”

He still has over six months of his course left and has not yet decided on his future plans. “I don’t venture out on my own yet,” Mr. Shravan said, referring to his vision problem.

However, he said he is very keen to fulfil his ambition of becoming an automotive engineer.

Mr. Shravan, whose parents and brother are here on tourist visas to look after him, said he was lucky to have received enormous help and support from the Australian and Indian governments to meet his daily expenses and pay for his medical bills.

Asked if he would like to stay back in Australia, he said he had no concrete plans at the moment as he was still recovering.

“I don’t know. I have not discussed the issue of staying back for good with my family. I will only decide when I recover fully,” he said.

Mr. Shravan said the tragic incident still haunts him.

“Police told me that they have jailed one person, who attacked me, for seven years,” he said, thanking all who stood by him.

“I don’t remember anything about the incident as to what had happened and how it happened,” he said. “All I can recollect is when I woke up I was in hospital and my uncle was with me,” he said.

The attack on him had received wide media coverage along with those on other students from the community, following which a number of top diplomats and leaders, including Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, visited India last year to reassure Indians that this country was safe for them.

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