On the eve of #WorldRefugeeDay2019 this is the story of three refugees:
-My granddad, a soldier in the British (Indian) Army
-My grandma, a young mother of 16 (although she may be younger)
-My father, a two year old who has no idea his life is about to change forever
The year is 1947
The British Raj is in its dying days on the subcontinent
The states of Punjab & Bengal are to be the pawns in the Hindu-Muslim political contest
Cyril Radcliffe, a British lawyer is tasked with drawing a line to divide these two states
Cyril Radcliffe never visits either Punjab or Bengal
He has 5 weeks in which carves up a country of 400 million people
He is honoured for his work and made a Knight Grand Cross of the British Empire, 1st Viscount Radcliffe https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-40788079/cyril-radcliffe-the-man-who-drew-the-partition-line
The 3 people in the photograph are caught up in this carnage.

My granddad is on the Indian side of the newly created border
His family is on the Pakistani side of the dividing line
Grandad assumes his wife & son have been murdered or worse
Grandma leaves Lahore with her little boy & nothing else
She has heard trains are dangerous and the walk is long & daunting
She travels from Lahore to the port of Karachi & gets on a boat to Bombay and from there, on to Delhi to granddad
He is pleasantly shocked to see them alive
The photograph is taken when the family are re-united as refugees from Pakistan
They lose everything they had including the social fabric of their lives
India welcomes these refugees, offers them housing, food & livelihood
They never return to the place where they were born
They buy a piece of land & lay the foundation of a new life
Every month when the paycheque arrives, they build a little bit more of their home
They name their home
Amar Kunj: Forever Home
Three more children arrive
This new land gives their children the opportunity of education
Four children, seven grandchildren, six great-grandchildren with a soldier, a doctor, an engineer, a teacher, an accountant & a social worker amongst them spread across four countries are their legacy.
All made possible because they were given another chance as #refugees
I can’t begin to imagine:

-My two year old dad locked up
-My 16 yr old grandma subjected to abuse & assault
-My granddad separated from his family

Yet, this is what they would have faced as refugees today

#IStandWithRefugees #CloseTheCamps
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