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The Hindu American Foundation (HAF), a 501(c)(3) non-profit advocacy organization, in conjunction with the Sindhi Association of Southern California (SASC), a 501(c)(3) cultural organization, is pleased to announce the creation of the "Hindu Refugee Fund" in support of Pakistani Hindu refugees living on the margins of society in India without legal status. HAF and SASC need your urgent assistance today to support the critical needs of these refugees, including the provision of basic medical care, and an assessment of their psychological, social and educational needs. Your generous contributions will also support the human rights of this forgotten refugee population, through fact-finding, documentation, and reporting of their conditions. HAF will be visiting refugee camps in Jodhpur, Rajasthan in January 2013, so please donate today!

Systematic violence, rampant discrimination, and widespread restrictions on religious freedom have led thousands of Hindus from Pakistan's Sindh province to seek refuge in India in recent years. In particular, the abductions and forced conversions of young Sindhi Hindu girls have left the Hindu community in a dire state of helplessness. According to the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), 20 – 25 Hindu girls are kidnapped and forcibly converted to Islam every month in Pakistan, some as young as three or four years old. Human rights advocates contend that Hindus are being specifically targeted in an attempt to intimidate and harass them into leaving the country.

Over the past several months, hundreds of Hindu families have fled to India, while an estimated 6,000 Hindu refugees reached India in the early part of 2009. The Human Rights Law Network asserts that there are approximately 115,000 Pakistani Hindus now living in India, and the numbers are likely to significantly increase as conditions continue to deteriorate in Pakistan.

Unfortunately, India lacks a coherent refugee policy, and the majority of Pakistani Hindus have not been recognized as refugees, granted asylum, nor accorded legal status by the Indian government. As a result, many of them live on the margins of society without legal documents and unable to access government benefits. In addition, countless Pakistani Hindu men, women, and children live in substandard conditions in makeshift camps scattered across India, in perpetual fear of being deported. Despite their predicament, the refugees are desperate to remain in India.

To see more on the plight of the Sindhi Hindu refugees in India, view a short trailer from the critically acclaimed documentary, The Human Boundaries, or read HAF's annual human rights report.

We need your urgent support today to ensure that these Hindu refugees are accorded a life of dignity!

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