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India observes World Refugee Day

PTI 20 Jun 2015, 16:38:25 PM IST
PTI

New Delhi: Aiming to raise awareness about the plight of refugees, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today held series of programmes across the country to mark the World Refugee Day. “Today is World Refugee Day.

On this day, we celebrate the courage and resilience of refugees and join together in our support for displaced people around the world,” UNHCR said in an official statement.

In an event organised in Mumbai, Bollywood actor and UNHCR celebrity supporter John Abraham interacted with young refugees from Afghan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Somalia.

He also addressed the youth about “empowerment, importance of education and of living a meaningful life”, it said.

Delhi marked the Refugee Day with an exhibition of renowned photographer Raghu Rai's photographs depicting refugees' daily struggle to restore their lives, organised at Rajiv Chowk metro station in collaboration with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.

A Youth Meet was also organised in Delhi earlier this week featuring wide range of activities of UNHCR, including film screening, food kiosks, painting exhibition, dance programmes and other traditional cultural activities.

Annual World Refugee Day campaign was launched in India earlier this week at Don Bosco school in the national capital.The theme for the celebrations this year was “With courage let us all combine”, aiming to bring the public closer to the human side of the refugee stories by sharing stories of hope and resilience of displaced people, showing them as “ordinary humans living in extraordinary circumstances” UNHCR said.

There are around 32,000 persons of concern to UNHCR in India, of whom some 26,500 are recognised refugees and another 5,700 are currently registered as asylum seekers, mostly from Afghan and Myanmar, with smaller groups from countries other countries including Somalia, Iraq  and Iran, it added

Most of them are based in Delhi, with smaller pockets in other locations in Telangana, Jammu, Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and UP.