Pune: Students from north-eastern states narrated their ordeal during a meeting with the police officers at Sangvi police station on Saturday.
The NGO ‘My Home India’ had arranged the interaction for the safety and protection of North East states’ students and youths in city.
Their appearance, misunderstandings and language barrier causes frequent altercations with local people, the youths said and talked about the discriminations they face in daily life.
Along with the NGO staffers and students of North East, several local residents and organisations members were present at the meeting.
The aim was to build a good relationship between youths and the police personnel. The students shared their problems and narrated several incidents. They said instead of ignoring the issues they should take help of the police because ‘ignorance is a disease’.
Leishipam, who works with a private firm, said, “When I came to Pune, people used to bully me by shouting Nepali, Momo or Chinese on the streets. Because of the language barrier and different appearance, I always felt I am the culprit. But, it has been almost two years in the city and now the people have become a little friendly with me.”
After listening to the youths, Senior Police Inspector Ajay Chandkhede, in-charge of Sangvi police station, said, “After every 15 days or once a month we will conduct a meeting to listen and reduce your problems. We will also start a WhatsApp group in which all the North East students, youths and police staff will be added and if there is any problem or difficulty, just post it in the group and we will reach out to help you.”
The police officers also invited the students to join them in celebrating the Republic Day on January 26. The students and youths from North East will don their traditional dress during the celebrations.
Nilesh Phatak, NGO Coordinator, told Sakal Times, “My Home India has been working for the last twelve years in many metropolitan cities to help people from the north-eastern states. These students, youths come here for education, career opportunities and find it difficult conversing with local people. They are not able to read the (public transport) bus numbers and end up being fooled by the autorickshaw drivers as they charge higher fares. We took this initiative to help out students and youths in solving their problems and also for providing guidance in their higher education.”
Another member Akash Khanekar added, “They are our guests and our fellow countrymen and if we misbehave with them, the name of our city will be tarnished.”