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The World Refugee Day was celebrated at Yellow Chilli Banquet Hall, in Buena Park, CA
Event was organized by Kamlesh Chauhan and Dr. Amrit Nehru
Emcee, Ms. Vasu Pawar

Los Angeles Pawar//.- A.Gary Singh

The World Refugee Day was celebrated at Yellow Chilli Banquet Hall, in Buena Park on June 24, 2018. Kamal Kaur surprised us with the tantalizing food by her Internationally Renowned Chef, Sanjay Kapoor. The Banquet Hall looked elegant with the ambiance perfectly capturing the nuance. The architects of the event were Kamlesh Chauhan, founder of Jagriti, and Dr. Amrit Nehru with his passion for Kashmir and, Kashmiri Hindu Foundation.

As per the audience, the opening of the show was lionized by the Emcee, Ms. Vasu Pawar, professionally a Finance Controller, and CEO and founder of Step2 StepUp, is the President of Gopio-Inland Empire Chapter, and NFIA Chair, Women’s Task Force, and Cultural Vice President, UFICA, trailblazed the show with elegance and eloquence.

The pledge of Allegiance was followed by the Indian National Anthem and the patriot song “Mere Vatan Ke Logo” sung by Rani Sood, which brought back memories and tears in everyone’s eyes.  

The emcee specified that the world rotates on its axis, always moves forward, without stopping. However, in life, we have a choice to either move forwardor backwards, as there is no stopping by. If we want to be in sync with technology, experience its impact on day to day life and business, we must keep moving forward, have a superior and advanced thought process that will take us on an unimaginable journey but ultimately bring us back, to embrace humanity. Kamlesh Chauhan, a writer of several books, a poet and editor, and the founder of Jagriti, recited a special poem to express her devotion for her Motherland, India, and to Dr. Amrit Nehru, a dentist by profession, this event was about commemorating the resilience, strength and patience of the displaced people.

We notice that throughout the world, there are approximately 3 million refugees. There are people struggling for their voices to be heard, whether it is for equal rights, color, race, gender, religious beliefs, a roof over their heads, or some sort of recognition that has been safely ignored, and others fighting for their lives. The questions that arise from this is whether we have violated their rights, or, have we just flatly ignored them because we are not a victim of those crises? We all read the HEADLINES in the newspaper, or News Channels, about these atrocities or violations, feel sorry for the victims, talk about it for a few days, and slowly even those alarming thoughts are forgotten. Do we as citizens of this Great Democratic Nation, of the United States of America, and our motherland India, and our World, have an obligation to hear the voices of those struggling to be heard or generations who have been obliterated from their land, who are placed in the forum of “The Forgotten People”?

Mr. Aziz Baloch, one of the speakers, is the coordinator for International Voice for Baloch Missing persons (IVBMP), Canada, requests to free Balochistan, from the atrocities in Balochistan, India. He considers that to be, a serious human rights violation. He urged the International Community to play their role to stop genocide of Baluchistan. The resolution was passed at the “World Refugee Event” organized by “Jagriti” and “Kashmiri Hindu Foundation” for India to lend their moral and diplomatic support to the ‘Baloch People’ and their national struggle, oppose atrocities, mass enforced disappearance of Baloch Men, Women and Children and targeted killing of the most educated section of Baloch Society, discriminating attacks against unarmed Baloch Civilian Population. He further wishes to bring awareness, there are 25,000 Baloch supposedly in illegal custody of Pakistan Forces in secret locations where they are facing inhuman torture and mistreatment. Are the rights of the religious minorities being violated including Hindus, Christians, and Hazaras?

Dr. Amrit Nehru, also one of the speakers, appreciated that India had given refuge to everyone including Zorahstrians, Jews, Bangladesh’s, His Holiness Dali Lama and Tibetans and others and yet sad, that nothing much has been done to rehabilitate the Hindus in Kashmir. Violence against humanity, forces large number of people to run for safety and this needs to stop. He spoke about genocide of Kashmiri Pandits, who were condemned to ethnic cleansing from their own homeland, where they lived for thousands of years.
To him, the most humiliating part was that politicians rule the civilization population in the Indian states, accepted their genocide with impunity and nothing has been done to date to reverse their ethnic cleansing. As per his knowledge, the Kashmiri Pandits genocide is the most unreported and under reported genocide of our times.
Dr. Nehru also talked about the Indian Citizens not becoming automatic citizens of Jammu and Kashmir State, whereas a citizen of a state in India, becomes an Indian Citizen automatically. Indian constitution recognizes only one citizenship, yet the people of Jammu and Kashmir enjoy the benefit of dual citizenship. The State law also deprives a woman who marries anyone outside of the State who is not a State subject, loses rights and property and even right to vote.
Speaking of the plight of the West Pakistan refugees, who came to Jammu Region in 1947, have not become citizens of the state and are denied the right to vote in the State Election despite of living in the State for 70 years.  

Dr. Madan Lal Goel, also one of the speakers, is a professor of Political Science and Director of International Studies at the University of West Florida, in Pensacola, Florida. He hails from Punjab and did his Bachelors’ from Punjab University, his PhD from New York University. He has written numerous articles on various subjects and books. He speaks internationally on various subjects. He spoke on the Demographic Changes and its impact on future elections in India.

Harshi Syal Gill, our very talented moderator, was described by the audience as being precise, sweet, and informative and presented the synopsis and conclusion of the panel discussion with knowledge and expertise. She has completed her graduate and post graduate studies in literature, is an author whose creative efforts have found expression in various GENERES. She has published an anthology of poetry, contributed to several drama serial scripts, collection of stories, and articles.

Omkar Bhaskar, a community leader, conducted the Question Answer session brilliantly, keeping the crowd focused and inspired.

The speakers were so powerful and passionate, with their presentation delivered with conviction, keeping the audience engaged throughout the program. There was pin drop silence till the end, although it was late for lunch, as the knowledge and information they gathered made them speechless. We are grateful to our audience for their undivided attention.

Last but not the least our coordinators, Harish Dhruv, who the community is extremely proud of, has spent timeless energy behind this project. He has spent his entire life to serve the community with all his heart.

We have Jitendra Patel who managed the slide show and participated in the project wholeheartedly, and Vilas Jadhav who never says no to any job for community services. Our coordinators, Aparna Hande, am experienced war nurse, is also a community activist, and the work by Radhika Patel, Nila Parekh, Rani Sood, Suman has been a blessing.

Finally, we thank our Sponsors, Mrs Uma & Avadesh Agarwal, Mr. Arun Bhumitra, Mrs. Kalpana and Dr. Amrit Nehru, for their kind contributions without which we would not have been able to bring such important topics for discussion.

We are grateful to our media partners, India West, India Journal, NRI Press, TV Asia for their coverage. Most importantly, we must thank our audience for calmly listening to the speakers and participating in the Q&A session.