CHENNAI: "All my dreams, hopes and aspirations -- everything has just collapsed. I'm clueless about my life. My identity is in danger as I don't know what will happen to my country," says a heartbroken *Ali, a first-generation learner from Afghanistan currently pursuing masters degree at Anna University.
Since news emerged of Taliban taking over Afghanistan, Ali has been spending sleepless nights. Worried about his family back home, he is glued to his smartphone, watching the news. "The images of people running madly to an aircraft, without fearing for their lives, speaks volume about the fear and panic in Afghanistan. The images are painful and shameful for the entire humanity," he asserts.
"I came to India for higher education with the dream of contributing to the development of my country. After completing my MCA this month, I planned to return to Afghanistan and become a teacher to create a better future for the younger generation. But everything changed within days. Now, I don't even know if our children will be allowed to go to school," says the worried youngster, who was working as a lecturer in Afghanistan before coming to India on a scholarship two years ago.
Wajid, another Afghan student at Anna University, is torn between ensuring his own security and that of his family back home. "I was working as an employee of the ousted Afghanistan government and was sent to India to enhance my knowledge. I don't know what the Taliban will do with me if I return as I was a part of the government," explains Wajid.
"My family says they are safe, but I know they are hiding the truth from me. There is violence all around; how can one feel safe," said Wajid who hasn't been able to contact his family for about six days.
"What can I do other than pray for their safety? I cannot express this helpless feeling in words."
Afghani students in Tamil Nadu who are nearing the completion of their course want the Indian government to extend their visas and provide them work visas.
The family of Mohammed Siraj who is studying B.Tech in Trichy, was earlier pestering him to come home, but now asks him not to return to Afghanistan. "I had plans to go to Afghanistan but due to Covid I was not able to do so. The Taliban's attack was going on for months, but I never imagined that they would manage to capture the country so easily and so soon. It’s like a nightmare has become reality," says Siraj.
"My family has not ventured out of their house for almost a week now. I really don't know how they are surviving. I am very depressed as I don't know when I will be able to see my family again.. I appeal to the Indian government to provide me with a work visa so that I can find a job here after completing my B.Tech and bring my family to a safer environment," pleads the students.
(*Names have been changed to protect privacy)
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