The dreams of a youth seeking the greener pastures abroad turned into a nightmare as he fell into the trap of some touts. Cheated by some unscrupulous travel agents, Rajwinder Singh, 24, a resident of Jaswant Nagar, is crippled for life with a fractured spine, and is undergoing treatment here. Singh was sent to fulfill his American dream through an outlandish route across several continents.
He shared his harrowing misadventure with the mediapersons at Punjab Press Club on Friday.
His frightening journey began on February 20 this year when he reached New Delhi airport to catch a flight to America.
His ordeal ended on August 29 when he was sent back home from America for landing there by illegal route.
"The agent, who was with me in Delhi, told me to first go to Kenya. He said I will need to collect some papers there to enter America," he narrated.
He said feeling cheated, he tried to contact his family but the agent forced him to first go to Kenya.
When he reached Kenya, the person there told him that he had to stay there for a while. "I ended up spending 12 days there. Then I was sent to Tanzania and back to Kenya again," Ravinder said.
From Kenya, he boarded a flight to Bulgaria, then to Guatemala, and finally ended up in Mexico. "In Mexico, I had to walk through the forests for several kilometers. The agent's contact person there led us to the US-Mexico border."
Singh was arrested while trying to jump a wall on the Mexico-USA border. "They told me to scale a 20 to 25-meters high wall. When I refused doing that, they fired near my feet. When I climbed the wall, a man pushed me from behind. I fell down to the other side and injured my spine," said Rajwinder.
He said he was taken by the US border patrol personnel to a hospital at Arizona and later shifted to a hospital in New York.
He remained in the hospital for four months and underwent two major spine surgeries before he was sent back to India.
Rajwinder also ended up paying Rs 21 lakh to the touts.
Demanding compensation for his losses, he said he would file a police complaint against the agent on Saturday.