Afghanistan Crisis: Indian NGO to "Adopt" 1,000 Afghan Students Until Situation Stabilizes

Afghanistan India Asia Higher Education News by Erudera News Aug 22, 2021

India Afghanistan

Following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, Pune-based NGO “Sarhad” working for students living amid conflict, confirmed it will adopt 1,000 Afghan students until the situation in Afghanistan becomes stable again.

The founder of Sarhad, Sanjay Nahar, has sent a letter to the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi to seek permission and cooperation over the matter. Furthermore, Nahar stressed that the adopted students would receive scholarships from the Sikh community, reports.

“While we have announced that we would be providing for the education, upkeep and livelihoods of 1,000 students, the task of selecting students lies with the Central government. Accordingly, we have written to the Prime Minister seeking permission and cooperation to expedite aid,” Nahar said.

Nevertheless, according to him, it is impossible for the organization to select students without receiving the Central government’s permission first.

“We are not asking for any financial assistance from the Centre, but a change in policy,” he added.

Nahar also said that little help had been provided from the Afghan consulate in Mumbai to these students, pointing out that the organization will also help Afghan students struggling to obtain visas.

Last week, under the central government’s help, NGO Sarhad released a helpline to assist Afghan students and nationals with counseling support and regarding their education after the Taliban took control of the capital Kabul, as well as to contact their relatives remaining in Afghanistan.

“There are many Afghan students and citizens in Pune and Maharashtra…We have extended our help to such students and citizens in the form of a helpline. Sarhad has appealed to Afghan students and citizens to call or WhatsApp on the helpline number 8007066900 if they are in need of any help,” Nahar had said.

The organization has also begun transferring amounts of ₹5,000 to students who are not supported by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR).

At the same time, Vice-Chancellor of the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) Nitin Karmalkar said that the university is also ready to do its utmost in assisting Afghan students.

Pune-based NGO “Sarhad” was founded in 1995. The organization is now home to orphans and poor children protected from violence and destitution in their home countries.

Most recently, the UK has deferred the Chevening Scholarships for 35 Afghan students for a year due to the British embassy being unable to process student visa applications following the Afghanistan crisis.

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