Pakistani migrant debarred from taking medical test in India

Two years after arriving in Jaipur from Sindh, Mashal faces citizenship barrier in realising her dream to be a doctor


News Desk May 29, 2016
Mashal cannot appear for the all-India pre-medical test — the entrance examination for admission in undergraduate medical course — because of her status as a foreigner. Photo: Express

Mashal, a 17-year-old Hindu girl of Pakistani origin, has been precluded from taking the all-India pre-medical test because of her status as a foreigner.

Mashal's parents moved to Jaipur from Pakistan almost two years ago to avoid alleged religious persecution, as well as to see their daughter become a doctor.

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Rewarded for her efforts, Mashal scored 91 per cent on her Central Board of Seconday Education examinations. However, the joy and celebrations of the family were short-lived and more than offset when they discovered that Mashal was denied candidature for the pre-medical tests — the entrance examination for admission in undergraduate medical course.

Mashal’s family could not afford to send her to any private medical universities by virtue of exorbitant fee structures, therefore, the only option was to try admitting her in a university of the union. Government medical institutions only accommodate Indian nationals. To their misfortune, the family’s legal status in India was still classified as ‘foreign’.

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Seeking the government’s intervention in her case, Hindu Singh Sodha of the Seemant Lok Sangathan, an organisation working with Pakistani Hindu migrants, said, “First the government allows them to seek refuge here to escape religious persecution, and then treats them as Pakistani nationals. If the government can’t provide them opportunities, they should not be allowed to come here.”

For Mashal’s parents, the labels just do not seem to end. “We continue to live under labels: Hindus there (in Pakistan), Pakistanis here (in India),” her father said.

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The Rajasthan government says it "can’t do much" to help the family since the all-India entrance test is conducted by the Centre. “So I am writing to the Union Health Ministry about this, requesting them to provide some sort of reservation to families of Pakistani Hindu migrants, so that they can avail of these opportunities,” Rajasthan Health Minister Rajendra Rathore told The Indian Express.

“There are only two nationality options in the (application) form: Indian, and Overseas Citizen of India/Non-Resident Indian. I am not in either category,” she grieved.

This article originally appeared on The Indian Express.

COMMENTS (60)

Abdul Awwal | 5 years ago | Reply @Atif: This is the mindset of a Pakistani. Good that we are are no longer Pakistani,s.
rich | 5 years ago | Reply Pakistanis do not understand rules and laws this exam is only for Indians as its fee are greatly subsidized so all poor Indians can apply when I say Indians hindus, muslim Christian Sikhs ect ect can apply only criteria is they should be indian national what is so hard to understand that? this girl is a Pakistani hence a foreigner even if she is a hindu hence the issue she can apply open category which is not subsidized and pay the full fees and become a doctor no one is stopping her but since she cannot afford hope the govt does somethig, its difficult to break laws and rule even for govt the other option was some NGO pays her fees in full and she become a doc infact after become a doc she can pay back to the NGOs win win for both
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