Indian hospitality biggest takeaway for students from Pakistan, Dubai

  • Aneesha Bedi, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Aug 08, 2016 16:08 IST
The contingent from Dubai on the concluding day of Model United Nations conference in Chandigarg. (HT Photo)

The three-day Model United Nations conference at Bhavan Vidyalaya School was much more than just a conference on global issues. For delegates from Pakistan and Dubai, it was an eye-opener, and above all — a myth-breaker.

‘The sense of oneness hits you’

He sheepishly agrees that he wasn’t the only one to think so. His comrades, Muhammad Ibrahim (15), Aarish Azfar Nirza (17) and Abullah Imran Tahir (15), share the same opinion. “The first thing that hits you is the sense of oneness… we are so similar, I wonder why the difference came about. We need to go beyond our political disputes,” said Ibrahim.

Their faculty adviser Afzaal Tarar said, “Media on both the sides needs to stop creating difference.”

Elated to be welcomed with open arms, the delegates shared everyone was hospitable here.

Abdullah Imran said, “We are looking forward to visit the Rock Garden and the Golden Temple in Amritsar before we leave. We wish our tour to Shimla hadn’t been cancelled, since we were denied visa to Himachal Pradesh.”

“I had a lot of preconceived notions before visiting India, and I am glad this trip broke all of them,” said Ahmed Mujtaba (15) Aitchison College, Pakistan.

Delegates from Pakistan in Chandigarh for MUN. (HT Photo)

‘Parents though we shouldn’t travel alone’

The all-women contingent from Dubai didn’t have it easy either, as it was the time for them to undo the gender stereotypes.

“Parents there don’t find it comfortable to let their daughters go out and travel all by themselves,” said Abhilasha Singh, the group’s MUN trainer, adding that they even found north-India unsafe. “However, the girls were so enthusiastic that they managed to convince their parents,” she added.

Akanksha Singh, a delegate, took help from her parents to get priority tickets arranged so that they could make it in time for the conference.

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