Have You Met Delhi's Beloved Afghan Refugee AKA Chess Chacha?

Of all the things Abdul Samad brought to India from Afghanistan, it’s his chess board that’s most precious to him. For 15 years, he almost led a nomadic lifestyle, moving back and forth between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Three years ago, he moved to Delhi after the fall of pro-Soviet ‘Democratic Republic of Afghanistan’ (DRA) and the rise of Mujahideen rule back home.

Till a few months ago, Samad spent most of his day at  Delhi’s Connaught Place. Every morning around 11 he would set-up his chess board outside Palika market’s main gate and stayed there playing till late night. But after the crowd got too much for the police to handle, they asked him to leave stating fear of unwanted incidents as the reason.

Samad arrived in India in December 2014 and has been playing chess across Delhi. He started with playing in Malviya Nagar, later shifted to Jama Masjid and then Palika Bazaar. Now he is playing in Central Park but not many people come. Currently, he is looking for a place where he will be allowed to pursue his passion in peace.

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