New Delhi, Jan 12: After 12 years a Pakistani Hindu woman has finally become an Indian. This is a new beginning for the 101-year old, who created history by shattering the citizenship record. Jamuna Mai, 101 years, has become the oldest person to get Indian citizenship.
It was celebration time in a small Sodha Ri Dhani, a small village in Jodhpur. It houses six Hindu migrant families. After struggle for 12 years, it was party time to enjoy the new identity of the senior most member of the family. The moment came with Mai signing the final ‘exit document’, an undertaking of leaving Pakistan’s nationality.“Mai’s document was approved and she got her citizenship certificate on Friday evening,’’ Jodhpur ADM Jawahar Chaudhary told The Times of India. It all started with officials noticing that a citizenship applicant's date of birth was 1918.
And, guess what. Mai danced with son distributed sweets to family members in the two-room house that has been given by the local administration. “My family should also be given the same ID card,” said Mai.Mai became Indian 12 years after 15 members of the Meghwal family landed in India through Attari-Wagah border on a religious visa in August 2006. Before landing in Jodhpur, family used to work for a zamindar in Rahim Yar Khan district of Punjab province (Pakistan). They were ill treated there like other landless labourers- long working hours, low wages and no holidayThe family said post-Babri Masjid demolition situation worsened. “Our relations with Muslim landowners and neighbours changed overnight. The nightmare for our community started then. By 2000, we decided to move from Pakistan and, in 2006, we bid farewell to the land of our ancestors forever,” said Mai's son Atma Ram. One of Mai's son still lives in Pakistan.Initially, it was not easy for the family in India. They were questioned by law agencies and no one was ready to give them accomodation. At one point of time the family had thought of returning
The hope of being accepted by their community (Meghwal) and India came crashing down as there was no one ready to provide accommodation or work during initial years. They faced rigorous rounds of questioning from the law enforcement agencies, which even forced them to think of returning to Pakistan.News24 Bureau