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Africans in Mumbai say they feel safe

African citizens in the Mumbai feel safe in the city, but exercise caution

mumbai Updated: Mar 30, 2017 23:05 IST
Akash Sakaria
mumbai
Edward Ondhoro, a 54-year-old Kenyan who works in a bag manufacturing company, said, “I have been travelling to Mumbai every year since 2012. I have not come across instances where my friends or I were beaten up or abused,” Ondhoro said. “But people do stare a lot wherever I go. People think I am different.”(HT)

Citizens from African countries are wary after recent attacks on members of the community in Greater Noida in Delhi.

Although most of the Africans HT spoke to Mumbai said they felt safe in city, they said they are cautious.

“Mumbai is not known for its violence. It is the reason I keep coming here every time I come to the country for work or tour. But now, it is better to be wary than sorry,” said Lualua Olongo, adding, “I am aware that Indians are well behaved but it is always better to keep conversations to the point.” Olongo, 29, is a Kenyan who stays in Colaba whenever he travels to India on business.

Henry Mbaye, from Ivory Coast, who works for a company that trades in plumbing equipment, has been staying in Mumbai for four years in Parel, but said he has seldom had any bad experiences. “I heard about the Noida episode. I am definitely afraid but I know I am safe in here (Mumbai). I know people won’t resort to violence in this city,” said Mbaye.

The attacks on Africans in Greater Noida were precipitated by the death of a class 12 student after a cardiac arrest, caused allegedly due to drug overdose on March 25. The next day, local mobs had attacked two Nigerians living in the area alleging that they plied the boy with drugs.

In a Facebook post, the Association of African Students in India told its members to stay indoors and not attend lectures for fear of possible attacks.

The message reads, “… With regards to food, and other daily home needs that might prompt anyone to go out, we are working towards creating a system to ensure that supplies gets across to you all. Please maintain and keep the peace, and discourage any form of retaliation.”

Robin Oluchi, 27, has been in Mumbai for five days on a tour and claims he did not come across any disturbing instances. “My friend keeps coming to India every year and he stays in Mumbai. Except some strange gawks here and there, people don’t disturb us. I don’t know about any other place but people are pretty welcoming here. They let you be,” he said. Oluchi stays in Churchgate and works in a plastic manufacturing company.

Robin Oluchi (HT)

Sani Ahmed, a Nigerian who has lived in Khargar for over five years along with his friends, said,”I have met met good and bad people in my life. This has been the way for most of my life. People do look at me sometimes like I have done something wrong. We have never faced bad experiences though. But I have met many more good people than the bad ones.” Ahmed is 27 years old and is currently pursuing his MBA from a Mumbai college.

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