Saturday, April 16 2016, 12:19:16
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Lavanya Bahuguna


Activist Hindu Singh Sodha: Women Immigrants Are Always The ‘Minority’s Minority’

  • JWB Post
  •  April 8, 2016


This man’s story needs to be told. Though we aren’t the first one to write about Activist Hindu Singh Sodha, we promise to narrate you few beautiful facts about him that not even his Wikipedia page has mentioned.

It was in 1956 that this social activist was born in Pakistan’s Sindh province. In 1971, his family shifted to India. And as long as he remembers, he has been working for the betterment of Pakistani Refugees in India.

Founder of Pak Vishthapit Sangh (1999), Seemant Lok Sangathan (2005) and Universal Just Action Society – UJAS, Hindu Singh spoke to us today during his visit to Jaipur.

Influence of the family

Till grade 10, I studied in Pakistan. After shifting to Jodhpur, I continued my education and finally pursued the L.L.B. degree. I was somewhat good in studies and was also one of the reputed student leaders in the University. Professors used to question my choice saying politics is not for ‘good kids’ like me. And I would answer them saying, “That’s why I am here so that I can bring about few positive changes.”

My mother wanted me to take up a respectable job. However, it was my father who understood my genuine intentions. He supported me when I decided to give my all for people like me. I distinctly remember what my family underwent when we shifted to India from Pakistan. Deeply scarred by those brutal incidents, I was extremely sure to fight alongside the immigrants coming here from Pakistan.


My grandmother, so far the most humble woman I have come across, is my eternal inspiration. I remember the villagers coming to our home and sharing their problems with her. She was a great listener, and that very quality helped her heal people’s agony. She was emotional and sensitive. She would cry listening to their distress, but at the end of every conversation, suggest them solutions like a strong-headed person.

I always wanted to make her life’s mission mine. I wanted to listen to the ones coming from the other side of the border. I wanted to heal their souls and comfort them. I am glad I chose to do the same.

Rehabilitation of Immigrants

Today, we have only about 1.5% Hindus residing in Pakistan. Nobody wants to talk about the reasons behind the massive fall from 22% to 1.5%. I, too, do not want to go into details. My point is when these people choose to come to India to live with their relatives, why doesn’t our govt. support them? No refugee camps, no guarantee of food and shelter, and no banking facilities. All the basic needs are missing. Indian govt. is obliged to protect them, it’s written in our law. When govt. ignores their plea, our role begins.

We make sure these people do not face any kind of traditional barriers and cultural shocks. Mobility is another issue faced by them. Travelling from once city to another needs a permit which one cannot get easily. Along with the country’s bureaucrats, we work on conflict resolutions, making policy covers, and doing the legal framework. All this constitutes their Receiving Mechanism.

In 2004, we helped around 13,000 immigrants get their work permits and Indian nationality. It happened in a course of two months and I call it an achievement.

How women and children are the easiest targets

If you call Hindus a minority in Pakistan, the women and children are ‘minority’s minority’. They are easy targets of various cruelty forms like gang rapes and murders. The girls aren’t allowed to go to the colleges because of the fear of being kidnapped. The situation doesn’t get better when they come here, either. The men don’t get jobs because of the absence of work visa; hence, the already vulnerable women are forced to go out and do unfortunate jobs to earn bread for the family. Moreover in India, they face discrimination and religious persecutions.

My plea

I humbly request our government to look after them and provide them, at least, the life’s necessities. Do background checks and all kinds of security tests, and only then offer them the Indian nationality. Don’t consider them the agents of ISIS even before you speak to them. They are victims and have got only one urge – to unite with their families and start their lives afresh. Please consider their rehabilitation.

JWB is writing about Hindu Singh because he is a man of substance. His every word made sense to us when we met him while his eyes were reflecting his pure intentions. A man who has given up everything in his life merely to help others live a life of dignity is nothing but a beautiful human being for us. In case you want to get in touch with him, you can contact him .

Below are few Wikipedia facts about him that you would like to read:

  • He is working with 350,000 refugees of Pakistan living in Rajasthan itself wherein 10,000 people migrated in 1965 and 90,000 people relocated in 1971. About 20,000 have emigrated since then till now.
  • Bharat Bandh (1981): In the ‘Bharat Bandh’ agitation of 1981 called on the motion of Trade Unions of India, he was the first one to get arrested in Jodhpur and the agitation though remained peaceful was successful.
  • Darbi Strike: He was the convener of Trade union movement in western Rajasthan and due to his efforts all the main Trade Unions participated in the Darbi Strike, which was the longest strike in the agitation history of western Rajasthan.
  • Publication of ‘Jan Pataaka’ fortnightly (1986): He was the sole person behind issuance of a bimonthly titled ‘Jan Pataaka’ (Peoples Flag).
  • Participation in Social Movements: He participated in various social movements including the movement relating to the Right to Information in Rajasthan.
  • He participated in the People’s SAARC Conference organised by civil society in Delhi, Kathmandu and Nepal on various occasions. Due to the efforts of Hindu Sodha, it was for the first time that the issue of refugees was included in the agenda of Peoples SAARC conference held in Kathmandu in the year 2008.
  • Apart from Rajasthan, he is also active for the cause of Refugees in the States of Haryana, Delhi, and Gujarat as well as for Pakistani migrants taking refuge in states of Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh.


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