South Asians will come together for an online gathering Sunday to express concern and solidarity amidst the suffering inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Cross-border empathy and cooperation in the Time of Covid
WHEN: Sunday, April 25, 2021
HOW: Zoom meeting
WHO: Dozens of activists, academics, journalists and volunteers from South Asia and the diaspora will be joining the meeting to share experiences and express grief and solidarity with those suffering in the pandemic.
The focus of the Sunday event, originally planned as a call to open sporting ties – #KhelneDo – and visas in the South Asia, #MilneDo, was changed at the last minute due to the dire situation on the ground in India where a mounting daily death toll and rising infection rates are stretching health facilities, crematoriums and burial grounds beyond capacity.
UPDATE, 26 APRIL 2021:
As dozens of South Asians came together for an online gathering Sunday to express grief and solidarity amidst the suffering inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic, a poignant moment arrived when one of the participants – a long-time human-rights and peace activist in Karachi – revealed his personal pain.
Trade unionist Karamat Ali said his wife was visiting Delhi and was down with Covid-19 infection, but visa restrictions did not allow him to visit her.
Mr Ali’s story illustrates the anguish of divided families unable to help loved ones across the border. The frustration is compounded as citizens above the age of 65 are entitled to visa-on-arrival at the border, according to the 2012 agreement signed by India and Pakistan, ignored by both sides.
- Press statement: ‘Fighting Covid-19 requires empathy and cooperation’ – South Asia Peace Action Network
MORE ABOUT SAPAN:
The South Asia Peace Action Network, formed on March 28, is a coalition of individuals and organisations joining hands to take forward the principles and ideals of peace, justice, democracy and human rights that mentors and leaders like I.A Rehman, Asma Jahangir, Dr Mubashir Hasan, Nikhil Chakravartty, Nirmala Deshpande, Kuldip Nayar, Rajni Kothari and others envisioned and worked for.
We believe that the way forward lies in greater socio-economic cooperation, resource-sharing between nation states and regions, and a visa-free South Asia or a confederation of nations.