Source : Hinduism Today
INDIA, May 14, 2013 (HAF Press Release): To believe that one’s faith cannot be openly practiced is unthinkable. However, for many Pakistani Hindus, the slightest acknowledgement of their Hindu faith can endanger their lives. “There is fear 24 hours a day…Hindus see themselves as helpless,” Chetan Ram states. Young girls are ripped from the arms of their mothers, married off to strangers, and forcibly converted to Islam; never to see their families again.
Families live in utter poverty. Even if they are employed; they are at the mercy of the jagirdars, or landlords. The Muslim jagirdars pay Hindu workers at their own accord, leaving many of the already impoverished Hindus unpaid. In order to escape the dire fate they face in Pakistan, many flee to India for safety.
In January of 2013, a team from the Hindu American Foundation (HAF), traveled to Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Over five days, the team visited three Pakistani Hindu refugee camps, providing medical aid to over 400 refugees. During their time there, the team listened to one heartbreaking story after another.
Despite fleeing from religious persecution, these individuals are still not formally recognized as refugees by the Indian Government or the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).