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Palestinian students in India anxious about well-being of loved ones, praying for war to end

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People in Israel mourn the death of their loved ones.
Image Source : AP People in Israel mourn the death of their loved ones.

Visuals of flattened buildings, debris, and scorched ground in Gaza have caused immense psychological trauma to Talib, a Palestinian student in India, who is constantly worried about the well-being of his family members back home and barely able to concentrate on his studies. Running out of money, the 31-year-old also had to cut down on the “quality and quantity” of his meals.

“I haven’t been able to read or write a single sentence ever since the war started. I am experiencing mental stress and haven’t slept properly in a while,” Talib told PTI. Unable to get in touch with anyone back home, Talib said he doesn’t know if his family members are alive. “It’s a helpless feeling and a difficult situation to be in,” he said. “I have become conscious about spending money, even on food. Instead of three meals, I eat two meals now and have to compromise on their quality and quantity, ” he added.

Eager to return home, Talib said he is praying for the war to end soon.

The latest Israel-Palestine conflict has been triggered by the unprecedented and multi-pronged attacks against Israel by Hamas militants on October 7. Israel has launched a massive counter-offensive in Gaza to avenge the attacks. According to the Gaza Health Ministry, over 3,300 people have been killed and over 12,000 wounded in Gaza since the conflict began.

Panic attacks 

Aliah, another Palestinian student, had completed her degree course and was planning to return home when the war erupted. Ever since losing contact with her family, she has been suffering constant panic attacks.

Aliah said the Palestine Embassy has not provided any aid to the students in India and several of them are struggling to survive on their own.

“The Palestine Embassy in India has not provided us with any kind of support or inquired about our well-being,” Aliah, who has been staying with her friends, alleged.

A similar experience was shared by Farook, who said he is left with barely enough money to survive one more week. However, he said some of his peers and teachers have supported him. The Palestinian students also said the ongoing conflict has hampered their relationships with some students who are “pro-Israel”. “There are several students who support us, but there is a section that supports Israel. Our ties have been severed because of this,” Farooq, who is studying at a leading university in Delhi, said.

Several Palestinian students in India have completed their courses and are waiting to return home once the Rafah crossing, the sole route connecting Gaza to Egypt, is opened. Currently, the crossing is open only for aid deliveries to Gaza.

(Names of the students are changed to protect identity).

(PTI)

Also Read:India sends humanitarian aid to Palestine after catastrophic hospital attack in Gaza killed over 500

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