Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, November 21st, 2019

Why India is the Favorite Destination for Afghan Refugees


Why India is the Favorite Destination for  Afghan Refugees

When Firdaws was kidnapped and brutally whipped by Taliban militants in Kabul, he fled to India with his whole family from Afghanistan due to the threat of severe. Firdaws is among thousands of the Afghani refugees who have settled in India with his family and do not want to go back to his home.
India is a Home of Refugee, where more than 200,000 asylum seekers are living in different parts of the country. As a home of refugee, India has long been a safe haven for South Asian countries like Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan. But, when we talk about the Afghani refugees in India, it becomes the favorite destination for them. South Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar looks like a mini Kabul where thousands of the Afghani refugees can appear on the roads and streets. Many Afghani refugees run their hotels, travel agencies, mobile shops, medical shops, saloons, beauty parlours, and so on. Smiles on Afghani refugees prove that they have a quite better life compared to their own country in India.
Firdaws told me, Taliban kidnapped him just because of working at an American center as a translator. He said, ‘not only Taliban but there are many problems in Afghanistan which force as to leave our own country. Apart from the fear of life, there are no jobs, no education, no health, and no future at all in corrupt administration.’  He further said, ‘I and my brother had a job, we had a home and farmland, but once Taliban captured everything and destroyed our property and threatened my family to kill, therefore we decided to leave our country.’ 
‘When l arrived in India, I saw there is a hope for life. However, as a refugee finding job and home are the major problems in India. I gave many interviews in different companies in Delhi, they select me but at the last moment, they refuse to give me a job, as I don’t have any work permit. I know India is also facing a job crisis but at least here’s no threat to life like Afghanistan. I have never faced any harassment from any Indians and it feels me as an old Home,’ Firdaws said.
Another young refugee, Shehzad, met me in Lajpat Nagar, who entered India six months ago. Shehzad said, ‘except India, nobody wants us. I would like to thank India who allows us to live here in a very peaceful manner. I want to keep my family’s life secure and I believe India is the only place where I can feel like my own home. Ever since I came to India, I am looking for a job but I could not get so far. But now I decided to start my study in India and will try again to get a job.’
‘The situation in Afghanistan is very devastating that’s why nobody wants to stay there. Today, young Afghanis are being forced to flee their own country and becoming refugee. Nobody wants to live like a refugee but also no one wants to go back to a war-torn like Afghanistan.
Shehzad’s family has also suffered from Taliban’s harassment just because his father was the part of the Afghan Army. Shehzad said, ‘Taliban once tried to kidnap my younger brother and was threatening to murder my father, me and my younger brother. Therefore, we decided to flee from our home.
While coming to Delhi from Jaipur, an Afghanistan businessman name Mehroof met me on the train. He said, I am in India for the last two weeks and I will stay here until the elections. This is my first visit and I can tell you it’s feeling like an old Home. We Afghani believe India is one the countries in the world that really concern about Afghanistan and want peace on our soil.
‘India has sacrificed a lot for our nation. That’s why we have a very strong and friendly attachment to India,’ he further said.

Amit Raaj is a freelance journalist in Delhi. He has written several stories and News on Afghanistan and Middle East crisis. He can be reached at am90247@gmail.com.

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