Refugees form a major fabric of the city.
Delhi is not just a conglomerate of different cultures within the country.
In the recent times of turbulent world politics, leading to civil wars, droughts, famines and dictatorial regimes, the city has become a home to refugees from neighbouring countries and farther.
We all know about Afghan refugees and Tibetan refugees who have made Delhi their home, but there a lot of other refugee groups that we might miss counting in our tally.
According to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR), India is has 24,000 registered refugees and 9,000 asylum seekers. Delhi is home to half of them.
Here is a list of the major groups of refugees that we always missed one way or the other:
The legal status of refugees in the country is governed by the Foreigners Act, 1946 and the Citizenship Act, 1955.
These acts do not differentiate between a refugee and a normal tourist. Therefore, a refugee requires the same documents as a someone on a holiday to the country. It becomes a criminal offence to travel without a valid travel or residence documents.
All that these refugees have is a UNHCR card. But we also have to keep in mind that the UNHCR is not very benevolent in giving these refugees a card for registering themselves. It is a long, scrupulous process.
In the meantime, these refugees have to search for a life within the bounds of the country. We all hope that the central government amends laws, and enables refugees to live a life of dignity and not humiliation.