Hyderabad: From Persecution To Penury
Refugees from strife-torn nations struggling to reach out for help to stay alive
The 'Arab Springs' uprisings in the Middle East and full-fledged war in Syria have forced millions to flee their native lands. This has necessitated a global humanitarian response from countries across the globe, as the inflow of refugees has increased in cities such as Hyderabad.
Reda, aged 24, a native of Idlib in Syria, was among those fighting against the present administration in Syria since the beginning of the uprising. After his city was entirely destroyed, he was forced to flee.
Reda is a father to three toddlers (two sons and a daughter) and was also a student back in Syria. Though he along with his wife and children had to flee the country for fear of being persecuted, there was another reason why he came to India just before the advent of pandemic. He was here on a visit visa granted on medical grounds.
Though Reda finds it difficult to explain about the medical condition of his son, one can understand with his low fluency in English, that the child has some form of tumour inside his abdominal area.
Reda tells that the doctors at Rainbow Children's Hospital were ready to perform the procedure for Rs 2 lakh. However, the lockdown, which was suddenly imposed, forced Reda's family to stay put in Hyderabad, which meant that they had exhausted whatever little they had brought with them from Syria, while fleeing the war. The hospital itself remained closed during the lockdown.
Now, Reda, along with his family, go from mall to mall, sitting silently by the side of parking lots, with the father standing and holding a placard requesting 'brothers' to help his family.
"We presently have Rs 30,000 left with us. Once the operation is done, we want to make Hyderabad our home, until the dust from the war settles and peace prevails, when we can go back" he says. He wishes to become a refugee in India.
He lives with his family in a 1bhk house at Shanti Nagar locality of Ramachandrapuram near Lingampally, paying Rs 8,000 as rent. There are more families like him holding placards on the roadside, particularly in IT corridor and on Old Mumbai Highway seeking financial assistance, as refugees from war-torn nation.