Udaipur : Fifteen Sindhi refugees from Pakistan took oath of alliegiance on Monday as a part of the process to attain Indian citizenship. ADM (city) Subash Chandra Sharma administered the oath to the applicants that included 8 man and 7 women. Among the applicants are a differently abled girl and a pregnant woman. The refugees have been yearning for the Indian citizenship and identity which they believe, would remove all the hurdles, they face presently.
In the next stage, their applications would be sent to the Jaipur for the state government’s approval for the issuance of the citizenship certificate, sources said. Few weeks ago, 42 persons were similarly administered the allegiance oath, however, they are yet to recieve the citizenship certificate.
As per a rough estimate, there are over 2 lakh minority refugees from Bangladesh, Afganistan and Pakistan settled in several cities across the country. Some 100 such people are living in Udaipur in Sindhi settlements at Pratapnagar and JawaharNagar area. These people had migrated from Pakistan and come here to settle with their relatives between 2001-09. These refugees who had left their possessions, homes and even families in search for better living in India, have been facing much hardships and discriminations here as well.
With no access to identity cards like Adhaar, Ration card, PAN or even a driving licence they have to struggle to prove their existence to earn some work for a living. Some of the people are so poor that they cannot afford education or medical facilities, however, without Indian citizenship, they are unable to access to the various welfare schemes of the government. The refugees do not have access to free movement and thus are not permitted to leave the city where they live. On several occasions, they are subjected to police interrogation and occasional seizure of carriages. Many of the refugees here are vegetable, fruit vendors and the women take up stitching jobs to earn a living. Though, their children manage to get admissions in schools, however procedural delays and inconvenience has become a part of their daily life.