Amid the controversy of how Africans residing in India are often victims of racism, 101 India, an online youth-focused content portal, has put out a timely and informative video about India’s African community: The Siddis.
Siddis have been facing racism for centuries. According to the video, posted on 101 India's Facebook page, the East Africans migrated to India and settled in the country between the 15th and 19th century.
Despite being the permanent citizens of this country they have been facing racism for centuries, according to Juje JH Siddi, a former athlete, featured in the short documentary.
"Many a time I travel in a train or bus, I encounter a lot of racism. I have once been held by the collar and told, "you are a guest in this country. Don't overstep your boundaries," says Juje.
Many former athletes from the community, including some who have represented India at international sporting events, have now come together to request the government to spread awareness about their community by restarting the SAG program that was started in the 1980s by the Sports Authority Of India and discontinued by the government in 1993.
This, the Siddis believe, can be achieved only through sports.
"The difficulty we are facing in India can only be addressed by raising awareness about the existence of the Siddi community. The fact that they are our people and that can be done through sports," Juje says in the video.
And the man has a plan to achieve this goal.
"In every Olympics and world championships, the East Africans might not have the best resources, sometimes not even enough food, but once the athletic events start their medal tally increases exponentially. India, on the other hand is not able to muster even a single medal. This gap is what we want to bridge. This is our dream," Juje concludes with a spark in his eyes.
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