Pune: Nigerians in the city have gained criticism and negative identity due to several scams which have involved their countrymen. To correct this image, the Nigerian Student Union of Pune have jointly penned several stories and struggle about students studying in the country and city in magazine called ‘The Impact’.
The magazine was released by High Commissioner of Nigeria to India, Major General (Retd) Chris Sunday Eze on Thursday.
The students are hopeful that through this magazines and their stories, awareness will be created about their nation among Puneities and students.
“The image ‘Nigeria’ signals in the mind of people out of Nigeria is not positive. Because of a few Nigerians, our identity of us has turned from good people to fraudsters. We want to change this perception, hence ‘the Impact’,” said the president of union, Gyang Samuel.
“We try to sensitise and counsel the students to refrain themselves from bad addictions or activities which will defame them and the nation. We encourage them to be more social and friendly with Indians which will help them elude resistance and creating a wrong image. Through this magazine these students have tried to share their stories,” said Eze. Eze also stated that Nigerian students face racial discrimination which often isolates them. However the unions promote the students to be more involved in cultural and co-curricular activities with other students.
“It will take time to sensitise both African and Indian citizens in this matter. Now slowly, the scenario has changed. As students interact with each other, resistance towards Nigerians is reducing. It will gradually die down,” said Eze.
However, the high commissioner highlighted that apart from these, there are many more issues like a Nigerian not allowed to bring any food material and sell here. Back in Nigeria, Indians can sell their food items.
“Many a times, students have complained that the food items they get for themselves from the country have been confiscated by immigration authorities. They don’t give any reason to confiscate the products from them. The students face problems in it,” added senior counsellor, Gbadebo Oluwafemi.