Raipur: Chhattisgarh stands as the second state in India grappling with a significant challenge: Currently, this country hosts between 62,890 to 98,340 stateless refugee persons within its boundaries. The statistics presented in the table show the grim picture of stateless refugees across the country; the total number of stateless refugees reported last was 289,394, according to the statistics of 2014.

Raipur, being the capital city of Chhattisgarh, has a pivotal role in addressing this issue. In the current year from January 1st to April 30th, the authorities at Raipur dealt as many as 52 applications for granting of citizenship rights. Out of these, 23 have been sent to the district magistrate’s office. The rest 29 report the further verification processes in the police stations as per the statement of Santosh Singh, the SP of Police Raipur.

Obtaining citizenship is a process usually characterized by hardships as the following case of a 39-year-old man referred to as Raj Kumar Khetwani demonstrates. To impose a cut-off nationally for partaking in Indian citizenship for the initial time, Khetwani, at present 42 years old, applied for it with his wife, two daughters, and his 68-year-old mother in 2021.

Reflecting on their struggles and journey, Khetwani stated that they entered India on tourist visas in 2012 with the intention of visiting some of their family members. However, the family felt the worst situation occurred in the region of their origin, Pakistan for that reason, they found themselves in the difficult but necessary decision to stay in India. “When we came here,” Khetwani said as he pointed to the complex, “my children were 10 and 12 years old and somehow were admitted to a school. For this reason, I have been making an effort to get citizenship.

However, this fight is not only administrative; it is a struggle in order for human beings to achieve citizenship. These are some of the conditions under which they live, Khetwani expounded their living uncertainties as he pointed out and said, “All this while, I have been surviving on dependency.” This is the same story of thousands of people the world over. “I have been living in rent for the last 10 years, and today I live in a rented house, and I sustain myself from a rented shop which is now my business.”

Check here for the latest updates in Hindi!