“The first thing that stuck us was, ‘Oh my god how young they are!’All of them were close to my daughter’s age -students between 21 to 25 years – young students, in a foreign country.
We all have children or siblings or other close relatives studying in other countries, it’s scary to think what a family would go through when they watch the video of a relative being chased and beaten up by a mob. When they hear that their children cannot step out of their homes for essential groceries and have even run out of drinking water…
The coordinator of Association of African Students in India, asked us to not apologise on behalf of our countrymen,
‘All of India is not like that, that is what I keep telling everyone, just like all Africans are not the same. There are good and bad people in every country’.
Two good things we noticed in this lousy situation – One, The educational institutes around are supporting their students and looking after their basic needs currently.
Secondly, administration is sympathetic and helpful. Saw policemen securely bring a group of girls to a pharmacy in an official vehicle, for them to pick up essential supplies. The Policemen were polite and caring (yes, not a gesture we associate with our police force, but life is full of pleasant surprises in the worst of situations)
What remains is the arduous task of addressing the ignorance which makes people believe in and spread bizarre rumours about cannibalism, crime and immorality.
We need to organize joint marches, stand ins and poster campaigns… and perhaps a theatre group can be invited to perform on this issues in Greater Noida villages.”