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'Thank PM Modi, Amit Shah': Recipients of citizenship certificate under CAA cherish new lease of life (WATCH)

Recipients of first batch of citizenship certificates under the CAA on Wednesday expressed profound gratitude towards PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for what they described as a new lease of life.

Thank PM Modi, Amit Shah Recipients of citizenship certificate under CAA cherish new lease of life (WATCH) snt
First Published May 15, 2024, 6:39 PM IST

In a poignant ceremony, the first batch of citizenship certificates under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) was bestowed upon 14 individuals on Wednesday, marking the initiation of a transformative journey towards Indian nationality for persecuted non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. As each recipient received their long-awaited certificate, they expressed profound gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, acknowledging the CAA as a beacon of hope and a pathway to a new beginning.

Bharat, one of the beneficiaries, encapsulated the sentiments shared by many as he articulated, "I feel like I got a new life, I want to thank PM Modi for this...since 10-12 years we wanted the citizenship...I came from Pakistan...I never went to school there. I studied a little bit after coming here."

Yashoda, another recipient, echoed Bharat's sentiments, highlighting the transformative impact of citizenship on her life. "I am staying in India since 2013, I have come from that I have received citizenship, situation will be better...I have been waiting for this like when I will get citizenship and when my children will be able to study...grateful to PM Modi and India," she said in an interview with ANI.

Arjun, who previously struggled with the absence of documentation, highlighted the transformative impact of citizenship on his children's future. He said, "I came to Delhi in 2014, earlier I stayed in Gujarat for 4 years...I am very happy that I got the citizenship. I couldn't study because I had no certificates, I was doing small jobs. Now, at least my children will be able to study...I am thankful to PM Modi and Amit Shah."

Harish Kumar, reflecting on his 13-14 years of residence in Delhi, described the moment as a 'dream come true'. He said, "I have been living in Delhi for the last 13-14 years. This is a dream come true feeling, I am very happy, this is a new life to me...I am very thankful to the central govt."

Meanwhile, Bhavna's story sheds light on the gendered dimensions of persecution faced by minorities in Pakistan. "I have got the citizenship today and I am feeling very happy, I can study further...I came here in 2014, and I was very happy when this (CAA) was Pakistan, we girls couldn't study and it was difficult to go out, if we had to go out, we used to wear burqa. In India, we get to study, I am currently in 11th standard and I got to tuition as well," she said.

The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was passed in December 2019 with the aim of providing Indian nationality to persecuted migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan who arrived in India on or before December 31, 2014. Specifically, it extends to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians facing persecution.

Although the CAA received presidential approval after enactment, the rules governing the grant of Indian citizenship were only issued on March 11 of this year, following a delay of over four years.

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