First batch of Sikh, Hindu Afghan refugees lands in Mexico-United Sikhs
The first batch of Sikhs and Hindus Afghan refugees has reached Mexico as UNITED SIKHS, the United Nations affiliated human rights and advocacy organization have secured asylum for 141 refugees from Afghanistan belonging to minority communities.
The maiden batch including children and elderly landed in Mexico a week ago. It happened only after the concerted efforts of the international body – UNITED SIKHS.
The families, particularly the minorities were feeling insecure and were displaced after the conflict broke out in Afghanistan when the Taliban took control staging a coup in August 2021. UNITED SIKHS is supporting minorities including Hindus, Christians, Sikhs and the Hazara community including the Muslims in the trouble-torn nation.
“We are pleased to announce that after many months of intense legal advocacy by our organization, we have been successful in getting safe passage for a pilot batch of refugees out of Afghanistan. The government of Mexico has agreed to offer asylum to Afghan minority refugees – belonging to Sikh and Hindu communities on humanitarian grounds. First batch of Afghan refugees arrived in Mexico City on February 4,” informed Gurvinder Singh UNITED SIKHS’ International Humanitarian Aid Director.
Mexican Consul in Abu Dhabi, at the request of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs came to Dubai Airport to receive the refugees’ batch, help them for check-in and ensure that everything goes seamless before their next step to Mexico City, after a long journey, added Singh.
A team of UNITED SIKHS’ volunteers and two representatives from the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs were present to receive and facilitate the arrival formalities for the first group of refugees in Mexico City.
Owing it to the supporters of the UNITED SIKHS, Gurvinder Singh said that this ‘historic event’ was only possible with the support of donors, the dedication of the volunteers and the grace of the almighty. “Recognize the Human Race as One, is the motto of our organization, and we will continue to guard that,” said Singh.
“UNITED SIKHS is committed to the cause of Afghan minorities. It has put in lots of effort and hard work for four months to bring us here. We are thankful to the entire team,” said Talwinder Singh and Ram Singh who were part of the pilot batch of Afghans refugees on reaching Mexico.
They also thanked the donors and the Mexican nation for helping them land at a safe place and also made an appeal to support the refugees who are still stranded in Afghanistan.
“We are consistently working to bring the next group of refugees to Mexico. We need donors’ support to make sure all 141 refugees are resettled safely and securely in Mexico. UNITED SIKHS calls for support from the good Samaritans in the society,” said a UNITED SIKHS’ spokesperson.
Explaining the cost, UNITED SIKHS spokesperson adds that the travel cost to bring all 141 refugees who have been given asylum by the Mexican government is USD 500,000. UNITED SIKHS have also arranged living expenses for the first three months for the refugees landing in Mexico and language and vocational training so that these families start earning their livelihood.
The advocacy group has also engaged two full time resettlement liaison officers for supporting refugees in Mexico.
UNITED SIKHS, according to Gurvinder Singh, also supported a number of Hindu and Sikh families from Afghanistan who took refuge in the Indian capital city New Delhi, two years ago. The organization had helped the refugees paying the rent of the properties, provided them medical support, and also arranged education for their children. The refugees were also given food, ration, special care for lactating mothers and expecting ladies, surgeries and immunization against Covid-19.
Kanwar Inder singh/ royalpatiala.in
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