Wanted: Adult behaviour in SouthAsia

The last Sapan – South Asia Peace Action Network – event of the year was titled “Growing up, growing together” with activists across the region resolving to continue working for a better tomorrow. It was wonderful to hear so many young people speak – most under 35 years old. Thanks to all those who worked so hard to make the event a success – including the poetry and music at the end. Sapan’s next monthly event on the last Sunday of January will have more music and culture.

The Facebook Live recording of the recent meeting is available at this link – video log online at this link. Here’s a feature report about the event.

Commemorating Human Rights Day, the founding of SAARC, and 50 years of Bangladesh’s independence, Sapan discussion highlights the commonality of human rights issues across the region

Some of the participants at the event – most speakers were under 35-years old. Screenshot.
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Married across an intractable border, Rajput Sodhas suffer due to India-Pakistan visa issues

Something I wrote based on a tip by an officer with a humanitarian conscience who came across Ganpat Singh Sodha’s story and wanted to help him reunite with his family. I subsequently connected Ganpat to a reporter colleague in India who wrote a great report about the issue, cited in my feature piece for which I did additional interviews and research. #MilneNo

South Asia Peace Action Network

This is the story of Ganpat Singh from Pakistan’s Sodha Rajput community of less than half a million. Like him, each member of this community has matrimonial linkages across the border in neighbouring Rajasthan, India. This is the only way they can keep their community alive, as they are barred from marrying within their own ‘gotra’. A special dispensation over a decade ago provided them relief with six-month visa extensions – but now those who apply for such extensions are being blacklisted, leading to painful and preventable human tragedies

By Beena Sarwar

Ganpat Singh Sodha couldn’t go to his mother as she lay dying of cancer at his brother’s house in Jodhpur, India, a little over 300 km from Umerkot, Pakistan, where he lives. Three of his children are in Jodhpur too. He has been apart from them for five years.

A former government schoolteacher of Sindhi in Umerkot —…

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