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In Pictures: India's 'people of nowhere'
Thousands of Hindus from Pakistan have fled to India, but face high barriers to citizenship and a decent life.
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2013 16:09
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India and Pakistan won their independence in 1947, but the year also left deep scars by leaving hundreds of thousands without a nation to call their own.

Millions of people migrated and fled their homes during the partition that lead to the formation of the two countries. Even after six decades of independence religious minorities, mostly Hindus, have been fleeing Pakistan and migrating to India, claiming harassment. Some left for better economic opportunities. Most of the families have stationed themselves in India's western state of Rajasthan, which borders Pakistan.

For Halmal Bheel, 54, who had migrated in 2000, settling down in India has been tough. “This is our land, and we are not refugees here," he said. "My father migrated to Pakistan, but our ancestral land and the remains of our old house are still here. So it really hurts when someone calls us refugees or Pakistanis.”

Hindu Singh Sodha, an activist working with Hindu immigrants from Pakistan, said “nobody is bothered about plight of these people. Both central and state government prefer to ignore their situation ... The only thing these people have been demanding is the grant of a refugee status. The government does not want to take the ownership, so as to avoid the provision of basic facilities like food and shelter to the immigrants.” 

The Indian government has toughened the requirements to attain citizenship: migrants must now live in the country for seven years before being eligible to become a citizen, up from five years; and the application fee for citizenship has greatly increased.

And the places where these immigrants live often lack basic necessities like water, good food and electricity. “It is very hard to live in such conditions. We do not get cooking gas connections, electricity connections, and cannot even apply for a driving license. The basic human needs are also not provided to us,” said Gordhan Bheel. “All we want is either a refugee status or grant of Indian citizenship.”

Khushala Ram, 50, who came to India in 2009 on a pilgrim visa and has remained in the country, said: “I will never go back. I came with the hope that the Indian government will accept us with open hearts, but I do not know why they have been treating us as Pakistanis. We are Indians who have come back home.”

Sodha, the activist, said the refugees “have not illegally entered the country, as they own valid passport and visas. Most of those who have come to seek shelters are Bheel tribals with little representation in the government or bureaucracy. Not just poor come from Pakistan, but also some rich business-class people arrive having money and bureaucratic contacts [and] end up getting citizenship easily. It is all about money.” 


Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera

Following the partition in 1947, asylum seekers from newly created Pakistan flowed into India.

Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera

The asylum seekers, many of whom live in dire poverty, often identify with India - not Pakistan - as their country.

Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera

Unhygienic conditions in these temporary living spaces often lead to the spread of epidemic diseases.

Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera

Jodhpur, a city in India's western Rajasthan state, is home to thousands of Pakistani immigrants.

Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera

In India the migrants are often ostracised and labelled as Pakistanis.

Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera
They have little access to water, good food, electricity and other essential amenities.
Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera

These refugees often live in makeshift homes to bear the harsh desert climate of Rajasthan.

Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera

Migrants use pilgrims’ visas to enter India, with no intention of returning to Pakistan. 

Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera
There are many Pakistani-Hindu immigrant settlements in Jodhpur, with more than 7,000 people living without citizenship from any country.
Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera
Maha Kumbha Mela, a Hindu pilgrimage, and other ceremonies open opportunities for these immigrants to obtain a visa.
Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera

The pre-requisite fee for applying for citizenship has been greatly increased, making it very difficult for them to obtain Indian citizenship.

Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera

Many mothers give birth to children in makeshift homes due to a lack of available medical facilities.

Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera

The migrants consider themselves “people of nowhere”: they have left Pakistan for India, in search of a home that isn't accepting them.

Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera

These immigrants aren't given refugee status, and obtaining Indian citizenship often seems nearly impossible.

Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera

The minimum time a migrant must live in India before attaining citizenship has been increased from five years to seven years.

Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera
Some immigrants have been waiting for more than a decade to get Indian citizenship.
Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera
Although living conditions are grim for these immigrants, they are hopeful for a better future.
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images:
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captions:

Following the partition in 1947, asylum seekers from newly created Pakistan flowed into India.

;*;

The asylum seekers, many of whom live in dire poverty, often identify with India - not Pakistan - as their country.

;*;

Unhygienic conditions in these temporary living spaces often lead to the spread of epidemic diseases.

;*;

Jodhpur, a city in India(***)s western Rajasthan state, is home to thousands of Pakistani immigrants.

;*;

In India the migrants are often ostracised and labelled as Pakistanis.

;*;They have little access to water, good food, electricity and other essential amenities. ;*;

These refugees often live in makeshift homes to bear the harsh desert climate of Rajasthan.

;*;

Migrants use pilgrims’ visas to enter India, with no intention of returning to Pakistan. 

;*;There are many Pakistani-Hindu immigrant settlements in Jodhpur, with more than 7,000 people living without citizenship from any country.;*;Maha Kumbha Mela, a Hindu pilgrimage, and other ceremonies open opportunities for these immigrants to obtain a visa.;*;

The pre-requisite fee for applying for citizenship has been greatly increased, making it very difficult for them to obtain Indian citizenship.

;*;

Many mothers give birth to children in makeshift homes due to a lack of available medical facilities.

;*;

The migrants consider themselves “people of nowhere”: they have left Pakistan for India, in search of a home that isn\(***)t accepting them.

;*;

These immigrants aren\(***)t given refugee status, and obtaining Indian citizenship often seems nearly impossible.

;*;

The minimum time a migrant must live in India before attaining citizenship has been increased from five years to seven years.

;*;Some immigrants have been waiting for more than a decade to get Indian citizenship.;*;Although living conditions are grim for these immigrants, they are hopeful for a better future. Daylife ID:
1371652911514
Photographer:
Showkat Shafi;*;Showkat Shafi;*;Showkat Shafi;*;Showkat Shafi;*;Showkat Shafi;*;Showkat Shafi;*;Showkat Shafi;*;Showkat Shafi;*;Showkat Shafi;*;Showkat Shafi;*;Showkat Shafi;*;Showkat Shafi;*;Showkat Shafi;*;Showkat Shafi;*;Showkat Shafi;*;Showkat Shafi;*;Showkat Shafi;*;Showkat Shafi;*;Showkat Shafi;*;Showkat Shafi
Image Source:
Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Pakistani refugeeshttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugeesen-usAl Jazeerafeedback@daylife.com10Wed, 19 Jun 2013 14:41:52 GMTThu, 20 Jun 2013 09:01:18 GMTRefugee%20_1.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=0cxa1a36mOgzOFollowing the partition of India in 1947, asylum seekers from Pakistan started entering India. Mon, 17 Jun 2013 08:14:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=0cxa1a36mOgzOShowkat ShafiAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesFollowing the partition of India in 1947, asylum seekers from Pakistan started entering India. Refugee%20_1.jpgRefugee%20_2.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=03HS0qn9xW4Ro

Acute poverty and bleak future surrounds these asylum seekers in their "own country," India.

Mon, 17 Jun 2013 08:14:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=03HS0qn9xW4RoShowkat ShafiAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Acute poverty and bleak future surrounds these asylum seekers in their "own country," India.

Refugee%20_2.jpg
Refugee%20_3.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=0emt0z86RVaiF

Unhygienic conditions at this interim habitat often lead to epidemic diseases.

Mon, 17 Jun 2013 08:15:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=0emt0z86RVaiFShowkat ShafiAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Unhygienic conditions at this interim habitat often lead to epidemic diseases.

Refugee%20_3.jpg
Refugee%20_4.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=08tYb7i6320o6

Jodhpur, a city in Rajasthan in India, provides safe haven for Pakistani immigrants.

Mon, 17 Jun 2013 08:15:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=08tYb7i6320o6Showkat ShafiAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Jodhpur, a city in Rajasthan in India, provides safe haven for Pakistani immigrants.

Refugee%20_4.jpg
Refugee%20_5.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=05X86NO31j3Sh

Elders worry about the future of children and women affected by harsh living conditions.

Mon, 17 Jun 2013 08:15:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=05X86NO31j3ShShowkat ShafiAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Elders worry about the future of children and women affected by harsh living conditions.

Refugee%20_5.jpg
Refugee%20_6.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=09DF1ll4dr3Kt

In India they are often ostracized and labeled as Pakistanis.

Mon, 17 Jun 2013 08:15:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=09DF1ll4dr3KtShowkat ShafiAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

In India they are often ostracized and labeled as Pakistanis.

Refugee%20_6.jpg
Refugee%20_7.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=075s1mg8mv5QF

India is home to refugees from many countries, but conditions for Hindu immigrants from Pakistan are particularly grim.

Mon, 17 Jun 2013 08:15:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=075s1mg8mv5QFShowkat ShafiAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

India is home to refugees from many countries, but conditions for Hindu immigrants from Pakistan are particularly grim.

Refugee%20_7.jpg
Refugee%20_8.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=09A88U34Sia0s

They have little access to water, good food, electricity and other essential amenities.

Mon, 17 Jun 2013 08:16:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=09A88U34Sia0sShowkat ShafiAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

They have little access to water, good food, electricity and other essential amenities.

Refugee%20_8.jpg
Refugee%20_9.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=0aJCb5k9Dd6o9

These minority refugees often live in makeshift homes to bear the harsh, seasonal desert climates.

Mon, 17 Jun 2013 08:16:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=0aJCb5k9Dd6o9Showkat ShafiAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

These minority refugees often live in makeshift homes to bear the harsh, seasonal desert climates.

Refugee%20_9.jpg
Refugee%20_10.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=07roabbaaX48y

Thousands of minorities, mostly Hindu, flee Pakistan seeking ethnic affinity in India.

Mon, 17 Jun 2013 08:16:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=07roabbaaX48yShowkat ShafiAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Thousands of minorities, mostly Hindu, flee Pakistan seeking ethnic affinity in India.

Refugee%20_10.jpg
Refugee%20_11.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=05A174BeyZ18U

Migrants use pilgrims’ visa to enter India with no intention of returning to Pakistan. 

Mon, 17 Jun 2013 08:16:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=05A174BeyZ18UShowkat ShafiAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Migrants use pilgrims’ visa to enter India with no intention of returning to Pakistan. 

Refugee%20_11.jpg
Refugee%20_12.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=0geod4edXSbI9

There are many Pakistani-Hindu immigrant settlements in Jodhpur, with more than 7,000 people living without citizenship from any country.

Mon, 17 Jun 2013 08:16:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=0geod4edXSbI9Showkat ShafiAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

There are many Pakistani-Hindu immigrant settlements in Jodhpur, with more than 7,000 people living without citizenship from any country.

Refugee%20_12.jpg
Refugee%20_13.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=0gUN27v3Pe2Wc

Maha Kumbha Mela, a Hindu pilgrimage, and other ceremonies open opportunities for these immigrants to obtain a visa.

Mon, 17 Jun 2013 08:16:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=0gUN27v3Pe2WcShowkat ShafiAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Maha Kumbha Mela, a Hindu pilgrimage, and other ceremonies open opportunities for these immigrants to obtain a visa.

Refugee%20_13.jpg
Refugee%20_14.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=06g3bpf0eM9fe

The pre-requisite fee for applying for citizenship has been increased manifolds, making it impossible for them to get the Indian citizenship.

Mon, 17 Jun 2013 08:16:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=06g3bpf0eM9feShowkat ShafiAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

The pre-requisite fee for applying for citizenship has been increased manifolds, making it impossible for them to get the Indian citizenship.

Refugee%20_14.jpg
Refugee%20_15.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=0c7SaIFdwF62m

Most mothers give birth to children in their makeshift homes due to lack of available medical facility.

Mon, 17 Jun 2013 08:17:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=0c7SaIFdwF62mShowkat ShafiAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Most mothers give birth to children in their makeshift homes due to lack of available medical facility.

Refugee%20_15.jpg
Refugee%20_16.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=0dMb3H45ILbqE

They consider themselves “People of Nowhere” after leaving Pakistan to India in search of a home that isn't accepting them.

Mon, 17 Jun 2013 08:17:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=0dMb3H45ILbqEShowkat ShafiAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

They consider themselves “People of Nowhere” after leaving Pakistan to India in search of a home that isn't accepting them.

Refugee%20_16.jpg
Refugee%20_17.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=0cb728vfUNf7c

These immigrants aren't given refugee status; with Indian citizenship often seeming nearly impossible.

Mon, 17 Jun 2013 08:17:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=0cb728vfUNf7cShowkat ShafiAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

These immigrants aren't given refugee status; with Indian citizenship often seeming nearly impossible.

Refugee%20_17.jpg
Refugee%20_18.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=0fjecgndsBghS

The minimum time period of stay before a migrant can attain Indian citizenship has been increased from five years to seven years.

Mon, 17 Jun 2013 08:17:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=0fjecgndsBghSShowkat ShafiAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

The minimum time period of stay before a migrant can attain Indian citizenship has been increased from five years to seven years.

Refugee%20_18.jpg
Refugee%20_19.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=01905yQ37nfzN

Some immigrants have been waiting for more than a decade to get Indian citizenship.

Mon, 17 Jun 2013 08:17:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=01905yQ37nfzNShowkat ShafiAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Some immigrants have been waiting for more than a decade to get Indian citizenship.

Refugee%20_19.jpg
Refugee%20_20.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=0gEKcKadyS1hh

Although living conditions are grim for these immigrants, they are hopeful for a better future.

Mon, 17 Jun 2013 08:17:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Pakistani-refugees?image_id=0gEKcKadyS1hhShowkat ShafiAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Although living conditions are grim for these immigrants, they are hopeful for a better future.

Refugee%20_20.jpg


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