Aam aadmi shines light at tunnel's end

58-yr-old Nahar Singh has spent his savings on taking care of refugees

Upset over the government’s apathy towards Pakistani Hindus, 58-year-old Nahar Singh, a superintendent in the Central government’s Excise Department, ‘adopted’ 811 of them over the last couple of years.  

He says he has spent all his savings on the refugees, and now applied for a bank loan.

“I read about these Pakistani Hindus seeking refuge in India in a newspaper for the first time in 2011. They were staying in a dharamshala in Majnu Ka Tilla. I immediately gathered some 12 people from my village and visited them. After seeing their living conditions, I brought food worth Rs 2,000 and distributed to them,” he says.

Singh, who also served as a hawaldar in the Army and as sub-inspector in Delhi Police, says while he was leaving the premises with a promise of returning again, one of the refugees said, “Everyone promises to return but they never came back for us.”“After hearing such words, I decided to hold a yagya in the dharamshala. The next day I prepared for the religious event and reached the dharamshala again, where I met people from different organisations like RSS, VHP and others. Then I got to know that the government is planning to send them back to Pakistan,” he adds.

A lawyer associated Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party told Singh that the only way to prevent Pakistani Hindus from being deported was to take them under his care.

“I invited all Pakistani Hindus and signed their bonds as a caretaker. I also forwarded their documents to the government of India requesting Indian citizenship. I have two properties near my house – a shopping complex and a school. I asked the occupants to leave the premises as soon as possible and arranged a temporary accommodation for Pakistani Hindus,” he adds.

Singh is a member of yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s organisation. He says following his efforts many organisations came forward to help them.

“I have been serving the refugees for two years. Organisations like VHP, RSS, ISKCON, Hindu Mahasabha and others contacted me to express solidarity with the Pakistani Hindus and offered help. They arranged some accommodation in nearby Faridabad, Gurgaon and other parts of Delhi,” he adds.

BJP national president Rajnath Singh has also visited the refugees residing in the properties of Nahar Singh in 2012 and offered aid of Rs 10 lakh.

“Since November 2011, I applied for citizenship for every Pakistani Hindu, but the government has not responded. Why is the Indian government so ignorant about these refugees? Why is the government differentiating between refugees from other countries and Pakistan?” he says.

“Prime Minister Manmohan Singh migrated from Pakistan after Partition and former Union Home Minister L K Advani also migrated from Pakistan. When such people can hold some of the most important positions in our country, then why is the government not giving these Pakistani migrants Indian citizenship? ” he says.

He has also written to the Prime Minister and President on citizenship for the Pakistanis. 

“Refugees from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and other neighbouring countries are roaming free in this country. I want the government to take care of these people just like they take care of the rest of the refugees. My accounts are running out of balance but still I am here to help them,” he adds.

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