Students from Malawi who are on scholarship programs at Shimla University in India have bemoaned the living conditions they are subjected to in the Asian nation.
The concerned students fear for their lives due to the harshness of their environment in the foreign land.
They believe their situation poses serious risks mainly along security lines.
Lincoln Kabaghe, who is one of the Malawian students enrolled with Shimla University on scholarship basis, has confided in Malawi24 on the matter. He complains, they are as good as imprisoned people.
“We are not living freely in this country, most of our human rights are being violated which is affecting our education,” He said
According to Kabaghe, non-residential students from Africa are asked to surrender their Visas and other important documents to landlords and landladies.
He added that owners of the houses do not respect the students’ right to privacy as they enter the apartments anytime they want.
In addition, students are not allowed to bring black friends, particularly those from Africa. This is because black Africans are by default suspects of drug deals.
“Based on my experience, if you are a black African in India then you are a drug dealer. If they do not suspect you of using drugs, then they suspect you of selling drugs or anything related to that.
“We are not allowed to visit our friends during night hours, but then this is the university where we sacrifice more of sleeping time for better grades. My friends and I were once beaten in a friend’s room by his landlord because we stopped by late night to ask for a tax fare top-up,” narrates Kabaghe.
Meanwhile, Kabaghe is putting up with his friend in Punjab after his landlord threw him out of the house for accommodating his fellow African.
“I helped my fellow African who was not feeling good by providing him with shelter. I found him sleeping near the apartment I used to rent because it was not safe but the landlord thought he was my partner in drug deals.”
Worse still, Kabaghe was once hunted by the police for being suspected of being a drug dealer in India because he is a black person from Africa. One of his friends from Malawi also met the same fate such that he was not allowed to leave the country until his Visa expired.
Meanwhile, Lincoln Kabaghe is pleading with well-wishers to help him financially because he has exhausted his resources on meeting travelling expenses. He says he has been moving from one place to another to ask for help.
“The government should intervene by talking with the Indian government to improve our welfare.”
It has been revealed that most African students scattered across Indian Universities are facing similar problems.
Before we published the story, we were making efforts to find out from the minister of foreign affairs if they have information on the issue. Malawi24 is also making efforts to hear from the relevant authority in India.