West Pakistan Refugees

By Sanjeev Nayyar [email protected] | 2014

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U see Shri L Gandhi, an ex-Army person, who is working on getting The West Pakistan Refugees their due. The book that you see contains names and photographs of every refugee. They are refugees, mainly Hindu and Sikh, who crossed over to J&K after 1944 but before 1954 hence denied Permanent Resident Certificates.

With the help of Shri Gandhi visited village Rambagh in Jammu Tehsil to see the condition of refugees and damage caused by recent floods. Refugees in this pic are left to right Kamla Devi, Jitu Raj, Rajkumari, Shamsher Singh, Ramlal, Mohanlal, Kamlesh and Pushpa Devi. Homes in this village badly damaged due to heavy rains in 2014. Refugees can vote in Lok Sabha but not State Assembly elections.

Damaged home. These villagers living in tents. Refugees cannot apply for jobs in J&K and their children cannot get higher education there because they are not Permanent Residents of J&K. To know who is a Permanent Resident Click here

Kucha homes and those made of mud suffered most damage. Names of refugees in this group left to right are Raman Kumar, Bindu Kumari, Anuradha Kumari, Sheela Devi, Kaushalya Devi and Pinki Devi. This group like others in the village thought I had come for Flood Relief and wanted help. Understand the pain.

Another damaged home. Water came with huge force during recent heavy rains. State Government support is lacking, villagers do not give juicy bytes either!

Three brothers on left of pic live in one room each, home damaged. Did not get all their names, the ones I got were Chiman Lal and Gori Devi.

Hand of villager on tree indicates the height to which the water had come during the recent floods. Visited in October 2014.

Another group of villagers ie Rakesh Kumar, Jeetraj, Kala Ram, Puro Devi, Bina Devi, Bholi Devi, Shyam Lal. Missed some names in this pic.

Concrete bridge that connected village with Jammu collapsed during recent floods. Army made a temporary bridge in 16 hours.

A view of the bridge. Sometimes I wonder how these people, like many other Indians, take every calamity and consequence in their stride and carry on with life. To read E book All you wanted to know about the Jammu and Kashmir problem Click here

Another group of refugees. Names left to right are Ratna Devi, Vandana Devi, Anuradha, Priti Devi, Visho Devi, Sheila Devi, Dharmo Devi, Ashwin Kumar, Satinder Kaur and Krishna Devi.Really wish had the resources and the ability to help these villagers. There are app 25-30 homes which were badly damaged, a sum of 6-10k per home would enable them to repair their homes before winter sets in.

On return went to meet a friend when saw this spirited protest by POJK Displaced Persons 1947, 1965, 1971. Why have their concerns not been addressed for over 60 years? Hope the new State and Central Governments do something.