Germany: Indian community protest for repatriation of baby Ariha Shah from German foster care
Indian diaspora in Germany protest for the repatriation of Indian baby Ariha Shah from German foster care.
The Indian community in Germany gathered at Mannheim Paradeplatz City on September 3 to call for the return of Indian infant named Ariha Shah currently in foster care in Germany, back to India, reported ANI.
Earlier late in August, the Indian community in the United Kingdom, including young children, staged protest for repatriation of Ariha. They called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene in the matter.
In the UK, the Indian diaspora united in support of baby Ariha. They chanted slogans like, "Modiji, ask Germany to send Ariha back home to India," and “Germany, send Ariha home." Even the young children among them were seen carrying posters featuring Prime Minister Modi's and baby Ariha Shah.
The infant, Ariha Shah, suffered an accidental injury caused by her grandmother in September 2021. Subsequently, German authorities took custody of the child, and she has been under German foster care since then. In response to pleas from Ariha's family, the Indian Government has consistently raised the issue with German authorities.
Since the baby was placed in foster care, the Ministry of External Affairs and the Embassy of India in Berlin have been actively advocating for Ariha Shah's return to India.
In anticipation of Independence Day, Dhara Shah, Ariha Shah's mother, held a demonstration at Jantar Mantar in August, demanding that German authorities allow Ariha to celebrate Independence Day with the Indian community in Germany, in order to safeguard her cultural rights.
In August, Rajya Sabha member and Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan also urged the Indian government to bring back Ariha Shah. She also called upon External Affairs Minister for help in this case.
"I am presenting Dhara Shah, whose daughter Ariha Shah has been under German government custody for two years now. Due to cultural differences, they have taken a strict stand. We request the Indian government to bring the child back to India and place her in a foster home here," Jaya Bachchan stated as reported by ANI.
In June, CPI(M) MP John Brittas and 58 other members of Parliament from 19 political parties signed a joint letter addressed to the German Ambassador to India, appealing for the repatriation of two-year-old Ariha Shah to India from German foster care.
Even in Germany, where the child is in foster care, the Indian community staged a protest in July, demanding Ariha Shah's repatriation. Approximately 150 to 200 Indians gathered in Frankfurt to peacefully protest for Ariha, who has been in foster care in Germany since September 23, 2021. In the same month, members of the Jain community also staged protests outside the German Consulate in Kolkata, urging the repatriation of Ariha Shah.
MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi confirmed that India is in communication with German authorities and is making every effort to bring Ariha Shah back to India.
(With inputs from ANI)
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