Over 600 Pakistani Hindu immigrants in Delhi’s Adarsh Nagar district face poverty, squalor, and a lack of power and clean drinking water on a daily basis. Surrounded by rubbish and open sewers, their requests for improved amenities have gone unheeded even as they wait for acceptance, something they were denied in Pakistan as well.
The immigrants visited India under the guise of pilgrimage and are now staying on longer visas with no intention of returning to Pakistan. While the majority of them say they fled due to religious persecution, some say they were concerned for the safety of their daughters, who risked kidnapping, rape, and conversion to Islam.
While they live in slums, a Bangladeshi refugee colony nearby has air conditioning.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan, a Union minister, and Kapil Mishra, a Delhi legislator, have visited the camps of Pakistani immigrants, but the situation has not changed. Rama Bai, a lady in her forties, died of heat stroke lately. Residents must battle insects and infections throughout the rainy season. They are at the mercy of Mother Nature in their homemade houses built of wood, dried leaves, and tarps throughout the winter.
At Delhi Metro stations, the majority of them offer phone covers. Children have gradually begun to attend school, although they often drop out early in order to make a living. When they arrive in India, they can only communicate in Gujarati or Sindhi and must learn the local language. Most of them aspire to be officers or doctors, but the distance between their dreams and reality appears insurmountable.
Despite being looked down upon as Pakistanis, they are content to be in a country where they can call themselves citizens and follow their faith.