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"My father and brother are at someone else’s house. And 60 women have taken refuge in our house. They are not related but got in touch with my father through friends." - Salma, Afghanistan National
An Afghanistan national and a student Salma (name changed) at a college in Delhi spoke to The Quint on the condition of anonymity. She managed to leave Kabul with her mother on 15 August. But she had to leave her father and brother behind because they did not have Indian visas.
Both her father and brother were government officials and now fear for their lives. They have taken refuge in someone else's house in Kabul.
"My father and brother are hiding in someone’s house. They are not alone, other men are with them. They sneak out and get food supplies. For my father and brother there is no way out of the country. Flights are shut. There is no rescue or commercial flights for government officials." - Salma, Afghanistan National
Though Salma and her mother managed to enter with an Indian visa, now they are waiting to get emergency visas to stay on in India.
"We are in fear, because with the change in visa rules, it’s chaotic in India. Indian government said that Afghans who want to come to India, can apply for an emergency visa. It will be issued in 72 hours. But in the last 17 days not one person has got that visa. All previous visas have been cancelled. Only those with emergency visa can work in India." - Salma, Afghanistan National
'Looking For a Job In India For Survival'
Salma is living in a rented accommodation in Delhi with her mother but has no source of income. She is desperately looking for a job ever since she landed in Delhi but has not been able to find one.
She spoke about the tensed conditions in Kabul. She said that 60 women have taken refugee at her home. These women do not step out alone. Local male residents provide them food supplies.
"Sixty women have taken refuge in our home. They are not related, but got in touch with my father through friends. No one would leave the comfort of their own home. So, yes they are running for their lives. They want to be safe. That’s why they are at our home. They have seen life under the Taliban when women were not allowed to go out for basic needs, nor go to school." - Salma, Afghanistan National
Ever since Taliban has taken over Afghanistan, ill-treatment of women on streets has been in the news. Salma said that in reality the situation in Kabul is much worse.
"Women are being beaten when they go for visa or paperwork to offices in Kabul. Women are being asked, ‘Why are you leaving your country and going to a non-Muslim country?’ My relatives say the Taliban is ill-treating women in parts of Kabul, sending them indoors." - Salma, Afghanistan National
Speaking about her friends in Kabul, Salma said that their lives have come to a halt. Women do not see any future in Afghanistan, while males are still in a better condition because they are able to move out.
Salma wants to go back to Afghanistan in future and work for the country. But considering the current scenario, she does not know when will she be able to see her country again.
"In the last 20 years Afghanistan had progressed. Women became doctors, pilots, and engineers. I worry about my future. I’ve studied and worked very hard for it. Now I don’t know if I will ever go back and work and build my nation." - Salma, Afghanistan National
Prices of essential goods have spiked, said Salma. She further added that people in Afghanistan are not allowed to withdraw more than 200 dollars in a day from the bank.
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