This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Ms Mehndi Dandwani. The writer is a 5th year student of Medicine at Terna Medical College, Nerul, Navi Mumbai, India. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA). However, the opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.
A father with misty eyes once said, “When we left our city, my kids asked me if they could carry their toys and books along. I assured them saying they will get new toys in their new house. It’s been two months since then, and they keep asking, Where is our new house?”.
Imagine once a nurtured tree that is held anchored firmly within the fecund soil is compelled to be detached from its roots, will it be able to relive? Such is the plight of our migrants who were coerced to flee their war torn places. I am no refugee, but I can relate to the torment underwent by them as my grandparents had been in the same predicament years ago. Nothing can heal the scars inflicted upon the displaced migrants.
Lately, there has been a copious influx of refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, with Syria topping the list in the number of Asylum seekers due to the ongoing civil war and violence. As per UNHCR, 1 in 122 humans is either a refugee, internally displaced or seeking asylum. There were total 13,21,560 EU Asylum claims in 2015.
Germany received highest number of Asylum seekers, followed by Hungary, Sweden and Austria. But, these migrants still remain to continue mere Statistics. Wake up, because one of the most unsustainable Humanitarian Crisis is here.
Are you a racist? Nobody would like themselves to be addressed as one, but when the situation demands, all begin to act one. All seeds of humanity, compassion, kindness lie dormant clad within the infertile soil of hatred, xenophobia, racism. The cries of refugees have fallen on deaf ears. Anxiety is rampant, health issues are multiplying, European policies are altering, living conditions are deteriorating, prices are soaring sky high, but hope within refugees still thrives.
These refugees with no shelter overhead are abandoned on streets fighting appalling hostile weather conditions. An average of 14 deaths daily due to drowning in the Mediterranean sea is astounding. But do we care? We are so lost within the whims and fancies of our day to day lives.
The example of Lebanon symbolises true humanity. With its population of 4 million it houses 1.1 million registered Syrian refugees. There are no discrepancies between national locals and refugees who have integrated well into the society. Although such a large influx creates a paucity of resources like food, water, shelter, clothing, education yet the Syrian refugee children enjoy the right to free education and hospital care.
As per Article 22 of the Convention, a child who is seeking refugee status whether with or bereft parents should receive utmost protection from the state they migrate to. Thus we see, Lebanon has succeeded in its attempt of providing all the basic amenities to Syrian refugee innocent children.
Many are of the opinion that letting the migrants in is an open invitation to Terrorism, well because of few rotten apples why treat all as scapegoats? It is our Mother Earth. No one here is the proprietor. Our nature caters selflessly to the demands of all without anticipating anything in return.
No, the refugees won’t steal your jobs, money, education, housing etc. They won’t inflict their religion upon you. Let not the borders divide us. Open your borders and create a safe place for them to live.