TIMES NOW reveals the story of India’s ‘nowhere people’, finds more than 60 Indians trapped on a desolate Island of the coast of Spain. It is the story of more than sixty Indians protesting, demanding that they fulfill their dreams of making a life abroad. First, their travel agents duped them and now the law of the land is against them. But, they refuse to let go and refuse to let their dreams die.This is the border between Morrocco and Ceuta. This may be on Spanish soil, but this is not considered a part of European mainland and for many immigrants this is where their dreams end.
This is the make shift camp, hidden in the hills of Ceuta, where tigers of the mountains, have decided to make a legal stand. The conditions here might be difficult, but they believe this is the only way they can highlight their plight.
Gurpreet lives in this protest camp. he left home in 2004. Gurupreet explaining his story said, “It is very difficult to explain my story, but I will try. When I left my country in 2004, all I knew was that I had a passport to go to Europe. But I did not know that I would have to wait 5 years here. I took the Ethiopia Airlines from Delhi to Adis-a-baba. We were a group of 6 or 7 people and some Africans came to me, asked me for my passport and told me that they would get me my visa to Europe and that I had to stay for only 2 or 3 days here. They didn’t give us water, medicines or food. After a week, they gave us some water and bread. After that, they took us to Sahara in Algeria and it was very difficult to survive there.”
Gurupreet’s story almost reads like these sixty odd other Indian protesters who travelled from India all the way to Adis a bab in Africa crossing the Sahar desert before landing in Ceuta.
Detained for two and a half years, Rocky is also protesting. This 24 year old does not want to return home without anything to show for his effort.
Rocky detailing his plight and asking for a solution to their suffering said, “If they wanted to send us back to India, why they didn’t they do it the day we arrived. Why now after we have spent two and a half years. We are not living here like animals, we get good food here and they have built houses. But, we were not supposed to be here. We don’t want to be here for our entire lives. We want to find a solution to all this.”
In the temporary center for housing immigrants is that the battle to enter Spain legally began for this group of immigrants…And while this is no detention center, the fact that after 16 months of having no success, the Indians decided to move to the mountains in protest.
Another protester Ravindra Kumar has been inside a detention centre for nearly three years and reacted, “It’s been two years and nine months. I do not know where this will go. But if I am sitting here. It has to go forward, and not to go backwards. As long as I am alive I will try and get to Spain, I am ready to wait here longer for that. We are worse than prisoners in a Jail, at least they know the terms of the imprisonment.”
Gurpreet, speaking on the incident, said, “Spain is very close from here, only about 14 kms. It has been very painful because at night we can see the lights in mainland Spain, but we can’t cross Ceuta. This place is like the waitroom of Europe, but nobody waits for three years. The day I get to Spain, I will pray to God and tell him that I have reached my destination.”
They live on a prayer and they dream a dream, every day.
27 Aug 2009, timesnow