Dear Priyanka Chopra, great to see you visit Africa as UNICEF ambassador. Time to speak out on racism against Africans in India [OPINION]

Priyanka Chopra is in South Africa to take part in UNICEF's fundraising event to highlight the challenges faced the country's violence-hit children

Dear Priyanka Chopra,

You’ve made us proud on several occasions in the past, and I believe that you’ll continue to do so in the future as well. Tomorrow it will once again be a proud moment for us when you will take part in UNICEF’s gala fundraising event to highlight the challenges faced by children affected by violence in South Africa.

The UNICEF in a statement said, “The visit of UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador Priyanka Chopra to South Africa on May 6 will highlight the challenges faced by children affected by violence. Her visit is providing UNICEF with a unique opportunity to profile our mandate and values that guide our daily work for every child in South Africa.”

Before reaching South Africa, you visited the Zimbabwean capital to promote the initiative ‘End Violence against Children’.

You’ve served as a UNICEF national Ambassador in India for nearly ten years and were recently appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and I believe that you might have done enough of what was expected from you, however, this time as you are in Africa, I feel that the kind of love you are getting there as an actor or let’s say as an Indian, the Africans don’t get it when they visit our country.

I am sure that you might be aware of several incidents, that brought shame to our country, just because our citizens discriminated with them, just because they are ‘BLACK’! I am happy that you will be a part of a global campaign that aims to help children affected by violence, but somewhere I also feel that you should also voice support for the Africans residing in India and should initiate something that helps them and also saves India’s image globally.

African people have been abused and racially discriminated on a large scale in India. After the video of an African man being trashed in a shopping mall went viral, a new video of two African women in the Delhi Metro has gone viral on the social media. The video has once again highlighted the the sad state of affairs for African nationals in India.

The video shows two African women travelling on the metro being yelled at and a group of passengers began shouting, ‘bahar nikkalo’ ‘bahar nikkalo’ at them. The reason for the beginning of the fight is not clear, but it only stopped when one of the women began stripping down her clothes.

According to various reports, approximately, ten thousand Africans of different nationalities live in India for work as well as studies and most of them have faced racial discrimination at every stage of their lives in India.

Surprisingly, the misconception of Africans being the cannibals was one of the reasons why the locals targeted Nigerian students in Greater Noida society and thrashed them badly. There are several other misconceptions, these African national grapple with while trying to accommodate themselves in India, or every African is a ‘drug-peddler’ or takes drugs.

Over the years, the number of students from Africa coming to India has increased, however, with their increasing numbers, the attacks have also increased and it is totally bizarre! In 2014, a mob beat three African students at a New Delhi train station. Last year, a mob attacked and stripped a 21-year-old Tanzanian woman in north Bangalore whose car showed up at an accident scene shortly after a Sudanese man had run over a local woman.

The African governments have repeatedly condemned the attacks on their students in India and have demanded New Delhi to take measures to protect them. The government may be planning to curb this, but I sincerely hope that you as a global icon, as an Indian and a celebrity, will do your bit to do something for these people residing peacefully in our country and justify the sanskrit verse – ‘Atithi devo bhava’ (The guest is equivalent to god).