Eight years and counting and I am still living in Mumbai. Roaming like a nomad from one suburb to the other. And this time it is Navi Mumbai! Comparatively, Navi Mumbai is better place to live in as per the comfort level, spacious house,calm & peaceful, greenery everywhere. It was just a second month when I shifted in flat with other two flatmates. Once I came back from a weekend home trip, I found out that our maid was not coming from last few days. Firstly I thought she might be sick, but she didn’t turn up for a week. So we decided to hire a new one. And after around 20 days, the old maid turned up.
“Where have you been so long without even informing us?” I asked.
She said, “Didi, Mujhe aur mere baccho ko jail me daal diya tha”.
I asked shockingly, “Why?”
“Didi, I’m Bangladeshi” maid answered.
“Then how did you come out?” I asked.
She elaborated, “My husband managed to give Rs. 50000 to the police officer. And some money to local corporator to give illegal residential proofs of their settlement”.
I was shocked with this conversation. I cleared her accounts & told her that we have kept the new maid. She begged for resuming the work, but i couldn’t help. I was stunned that the woman who was working at my place is an illegal migrant, settled here and working. And there will be many like her too.
I just took a look on the statistics of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. After a study, it was found that roughly 15 million illegal migrants from Bangladesh are settled in India. And the most affected states are the Border States & metropolitan cities, where it led to increasing insurgency, changing demographic pattern. They deprive local residents from their meager incomes by pumping in cheap labor. They also steered to drug syndicates, prostitution racquets, human trafficking, creation of illegal criminal activities, arms trafficking, etc.
And through this incident, I do feel many lacunae in our illegal migrants handling mechanism. I pity for so-called laid down rules and regulations. Here if you fill pockets of local politicians and just for the sake of vote bank politics, these cheap minded politicians give headway to such activities. There are many illegal migrants settled in India with proper documentation stating their citizenship. Identification becomes a major hurdle because of the similar culture, accents, dialect & features. It is hard to distinguish among Indian Bengali and the Bangladeshi.They hold ration cards, electoral voter IDs and even Aadhar cards. Thanks to our cheap politics!
Bilateral agreement needs to be established among India & Bangladesh as a way forward to stop illegal penetration in India. Issue of work permits, travel documentation, penal actions, and repatriation needs to reconcile. Our government is working for making comprehensive solution.There is a need of an hour for stringent and applicable enforcement laws. It is a question of national security.
I am a simple common girl, working in Mumbai like many. I am helpless whether to help that lady or to take action against her. Even if I try to talk with police or local politician, they will only advise me to stay away from such kind of issues. Local politics nowadays instead of making a better place for the people, they threaten us if we step ahead on such issues.
At least my writings some way or the other will help them to understand the seriousness of such kind of issues and take punitive measures on it.