Saturday, 20 June 2015

British NRI Leads to Secure Free places for Refugees while the country observes World Refugee Day

Free places granted by Hon'ble Minister of State Pravin Pote Patil for Refugees from J&K region at the PR Patil Group of Educational Institute, Amravati

A delegation led by Lakshmi Kaul, an activist and campaigner based in London met with Hon'ble Minister of State Sh. Pravin Pote Patil to discuss the plight of Hindu minorities in the J&K region including the refugees in West Pakistan. Mr. Pravin Ramchandra Pote-Patil is the Minister of State for Industries & Mining, Environment, Public Works (excluding Public Undertakings) and the President of P.R.Patil Group of Educational Institute. Lakshmi Kaul is the Founder of the leading organisation on Kashmiri Hindus, the Kashmiri Pandits Cultural Society, UK, and the Chair of Public Relations for Hindu Forum of Britain (an umbrella body with a membership of over 400 temples and organisations in the UK).  For the meeting with the Hon'ble Minister, she was joined by Siddhartha Acharya, a lawyer, activist and film maker who has made the film "Abandoned Cranes" on the plight of Kashmiri Pandits that was screened at the British Parliament, Prerak Sharma, lawyer & activist and Apoorva Khandeparkar, student and activist.

During the discussion when the delegates brought to the Hon'ble Minister's notice how there were a number of displaced communities of Hindus that could not afford higher education and were living in abysmal condition, Mr. Patil was quick to offer atleast 100 free seats every year to deserving students from the affected communities in the P. R Patil Group of Educational Institute in Amravati, Maharashtra. The minimum fees per year per student is around INR 80,000 which has been completely waived off for the atleast Hindu Refugee students. However, boarding and lodging will need to be arranged for the duration of the course.

There are over 50 million people world over who have had to flee their homes owing to human rights violations.

 "I am highly touched and impressed by Hon'ble Minister Sh. Patil's commitment to help out the students in need and keeping them on the career path. Being able to remain on the education and career the refugee families will have hope of a secure future while they seek asylum and justice. The interaction with the Hon'ble Minister and his understanding of the needs of the communities suffering is notable. I was particularly moved by his devotion and extra effort into ensuring that this discussion concretised into action. We also discussed the need for greater interaction and association between communities in India and the UK," says Lakshmi Kaul who was particularly impressed by how approachable the Hon'ble Minister of State was to the members of the public.

Hearing the announcement Ms. Trupti Patel, President of Hindu Forum of Britain sent her best wishes to the Hon'ble Minister and has extended an invitation to him to meet with key representatives of the Hindu community in the UK. "We are very grateful to Mr. Patil for his support to the students in need, especially the refugee Hindu communities in West Pakistan," said Ms. Trupti Patel.

The annoucement has been welcomed by the members of the local communities in J&K. The London based Dogra activist, Manu Khajuria commended the effort saying, " Brilliant work! The West Pak Refugee youth are in such dire straits..doing it for them makes it truly historical.. never done before. Congratulations!"

The team also met the
Hon'ble Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways & Shipping, Sh Nitin Gadkari who congratulated the Hon'ble Mr. Patil for his generous support the refugees from J&K region and extended his blessings to this initiative.


Ms. Lakshmi Kaul
Founder & Executive Member, Kashmiri Pandits Cultural Society, UK
Chair of Public Relations, Hindu Forum of Britain

Mr. Siddhartha Acharya
Lawyer, Activist & Film Maker

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