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Why Pakistani Hindu migrants are denied vaccination

A lot of the migrants do not get entry to any medical amenities in government-run hospitals or dispensaries as they don’t have an Aadhaar card and are usually not Indian residents.
Prakash Bhandari stories.

IMAGE: A lady will get a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Bikaner, Could 29, 2021. Kindly observe the picture has solely been posted for representational causes. {Photograph}: ANI Photograph

Over 20,000 Hindu migrants, who fled their properties in Pakistan’s Sindh province after dealing with non secular persecution, are a disadvantaged and unprivileged lot of their new nation, India.

These migrants belong to backward courses and are staying in India on a Lengthy Time period Visa (LTV); they’re but to get their Indian citizenship.

They’re largely dwelling in Jodhpur in Rajasthan, however are additionally unfold throughout the neighbouring districts of Pali, Jalore, Jaisalmer, Barmer, Bikaner and Udaipur.

Through the first and the second section of the pandemic, these migrants had been turned away from numerous government-run hospitals and dispensaries and had been refused vaccination as a result of they don’t have Aadhaar playing cards and are usually not Indian residents.

Ten Pakistani Hindu migrants have died because of covid-like signs and lack of medical amenities in Jodhpur, though many have recovered as properly.

The most important variety of such migrants reside in 20 totally different hutments and slums within the metropolis. With out vaccination, they pose a terrific hazard to others as they may grow to be tremendous spreaders.


“A large number of Hindu migrants left their homes and properties in Sindh because they were subjected to persecution and were unsafe. They came here with the hope of getting Indian citizenship under the new citizenship law,” says Hindu Singh Sodha of the Lok Seemant Sangathan, an NGO working for his or her rights.

“But till they get it, they will not get the Aadhaar card and, without Aadhaar, they are like a burden on society,” Sodha provides.

“It is necessary to vaccinate these migrants else they could become super spreaders of the disease,” warns Sodha.

Sodha, a migrant himself, got here to India as a younger boy after the 1971 Warfare. He acquired Indian citizenship and has been working for the reason for the migrants. He has written to the prime minister asking for vaccination for the migrants.

“We Pakistani migrants have travel documents. People have LTVs and permission to stay. Nomads, saints, the homeless, etc, are included in the notification issued by the Union ministry of health, but this most vulnerable group is left out!” says Hemaram Koli, who can be a migrant.

IMAGE: Hindu refugees from Pakistan rejoice after the Lok Sabha handed the Citizenship (Modification) Invoice, 2019. {Photograph}: ANI Photograph

Rajasthan’s Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has reassured the migrants that they are going to be vaccinated. Nonetheless, the problem is linked with the central authorities as properly.

After a public outcry on the circumstances of the migrants, the medical and well being division ordered a door-to-door survey in 24 slums in Jodhpur on Could 5. Nonetheless, within the absence of mandatory paperwork such because the Aadhaar card, their path to vaccination continues to be blocked.

The Sangathan states that the group has largely remained excluded from the method of screening, testing and remedy for COVID-19.

“The problem of the migrants is a human problem and it should be addressed differently. Leaving 20,000 persons without vaccination would mean endangering the lives of those innocent people who would come in contact with these unvaccinated people and contract corona,” says Bharatiya Janata Social gathering MLA Suryakanta Vyas.

Sodha says their Pakistani passports and LTVs needs to be thought-about as legitimate documentation for the aim of vaccination and they need to be handled as “persons of special category”.

In 2019, earlier than the Lok Sabha election, Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi had addressed an enormous rally within the border district of Barmer the place he had promised to mitigate the issues of Hindu migrants from Pakistan.

After the enactment of the Citizenship (Modification) Act, the migrants hoped they might get citizenship and their id disaster would finish, however the pandemic has exacerbated their issues.

This concern has now been taken up within the excessive court docket. Justice Rameshwar Vyas and Justice Vijay Vyas noticed that the Union authorities has issued orders relating to the usual working process in regards to the vaccination of those that haven’t any prescribed id playing cards. The court docket requested the Rajasthan authorities to let it understand how such individuals might be examined for COVID-19.

Because the Union authorities’s order is silent in regards to the Pakistani migrants in its SOP, the state authorities should search clarification from the Centre. Till the clarification is obtained, the uncertainty over vaccinating the migrants will proceed.

Function Presentation: Aslam Hunani/

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