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U.S. Denies Visa to Indian Orphans

By Binu Paul, SiliconIndia   |   Wednesday, 23 November 2011, 15:37 Hrs   |    12 Comments
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The decision has surprised everyone. Talking to us, Kiran Modi said so far no Indian authorities have taken any initiatives to look into the matter. "I have been trying to get in touch with the Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, but could not get any solid replay or assurance," she said.

The organizers (International Children's Network) too are completely taken back by the by the visa denial. ICN's President and Founder Don Windham expressed his disappointment over the decision and said, "An unexplainable oversight with severe impact to Indian orphan and at-risk children has been handed down from our most responsible and trustworthy U.S. Embassy in Dehli. I cannot agree with the claims of many regarding discrimination for the decision of our US Embassy in India that go against the Department of Homeland Security, the written support of many in the USA and the past actions of trust from previous choirs regarding these orphaned children in India. This decision, if it stands, will certainly have a tremendous impact on the countless desperate children of India and around the world. However, we have always had complete trust in this process and our Embassies around the world. Therefore, we are certain and most hopeful they will consider the facts we have submitted in order to make a reasonable decision similar to Homeland Security, the support of many USA government officials and many other U.S. Citizens."

"This was the first year for India and while I expected some extra due diligence and support material, I certainly am stunned at the ultimate decision and the drastic impact this decision will have on the children who have no voice. India's street children have suffered so much already and to pull away hope for a future is simply devastating. This decision will set the tone of their future lives and the many people that come across their paths because of the unexplainable denial of our US Embassy." Heather Mehra-Pedersen was quoted in the statement.

The unfair and discriminatory decision surprised many despite the permission and approval - from Child Welfare Committees, schools, Indian government as well as Homeland Security in U.S., over 600 pages of documents verifying authenticity of the case and testimony and letters of support from current U.S. Senators who have firsthand experienced past ICN choirs. "While I respect the concern and overall caution for illegal immigrants and child trafficking , we must not be so ultra sensitive that we fail to properly identify the exceptions to India's problem of deceitful applicants who fail to return to their country. These children are dolphins in the net and set a precedent. This means that any Indian child who is an orphan does not stand a chance of going to United States even when Homeland Security approves them. U.S. Dept of Homeland Security evaluated and approved their travel as well as the support of U.S. senators and congressmen," Kiran Modi said.

Along with ICN and Udayan Care, every sympathizer of this noble cause hope that the decision would be revoked. "We are very hopeful that the decision will be reviewed and the children will be on their way - even if a little late. However, it will need the combined effort of each and every one of us - the Indian and American authorities, the media as well as individuals," said Reena.

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Reader's comments(12)
1: btw kids you will not miss much. there is not much to see
here in US. corruption in gray suits similar to our dhoti corruption. drug abuse. teen pregnancy. here the society as a whole encourages sex at age 12+ ( prom etc ) ( I guess this is the case in India these days) and lo behold most churches are infested with child molesting pastors. and these churches are the ones coming to india to convert ignorant villagers....
and this goes on and on.....and worst of all this country is full of crap as much as their debt....

on the bright side....if we look back india 20yrs ago we did not have that many jobs and economic progress but had a good hold on nations culture....today we are progressing at MTV speed...

anyways no biggie you did not get visas. despite all the flaws where you were born is a great place.
Posted by:guru - 25 Nov, 2011
2: @Raj...FYI: All the human beings are created by the almighty. You have the capability to write the comments due to the grace, kindness of Almighty & your parents. If they decided in another way after your birth, you would have been in a group of orphans or beggars. So please don't use such comments.
Posted by:Trueman - 24 Nov, 2011
3: Both the article as well as most of the comments seem of abysmal standards. US is a great nation. It is India that needs to learn how to treat its citizens properly. In India, the government babus loot the nation, in terms of astronomical salaries, huge pension benefits and a lot of other perks including 13 months a year salary. Beyond all this, in the feudal languages of this nation, the government babus are the holy cows, and the common man more or less of abominable standards. Instead of taking up and giving focus to nonsensical reports, let the article writer focus on such things that are the bane of this nation.
If the US is going bad, it is just a reaction to, and reaction of Indianisation of the nation going on there.
Posted by:Ved from Victoria Institutions - 24 Nov, 2011
4: US citizens and permanent residents should not be issued Indian visa if Indians cannot be provided with US visa.
Posted by:Indian - 23 Nov, 2011
Posted by:Dr Baride J P - 23 Nov, 2011
6: Definitely US will suffer for this. Childrens are equal to GOD. If they tease those children, GOD will give them a lesson.
Posted by:Paraman - 23 Nov, 2011
7: Let the US citizen come and work in India as we do have lot of labour shortages. It is very much ridiculous to note that security check was done to Dr.Abdul Kalam for the second time also
Posted by:K C FRANCIS - 23 Nov, 2011
8: Why dont we also stop issuing Visas to all Americans since their economy is down, what is the assurance that they will not stay back and try to become Indian citizens (LOL)
Posted by:Baburaj nair - 23 Nov, 2011
9: Can Obama or Hilary or whoever denied the Visa give some valid reasons please
Posted by:Baburaj Nair - 23 Nov, 2011
10: The orphans are terrorists. How dare they apply for a visa and how dare they have such a program? Trillions of dollars for Homeland Security and the Pentagon will keep innocent Americans free! (sarcasm)
Posted by:Mitesh Damania - 23 Nov, 2011
11: Well, the embassy should understand the difference between child trafficking and the genuine case. Why the hell they are holding this World Orphan Choir in US, which is supposed to be attended by orphans. This is a humiliation for those 7 children since they are the best ones from India.
Posted by:An Indian - 23 Nov, 2011
12: I am confused as to what the news is about. Did the visas to
attend the choir is refused or visa to join their parents refused! US has some rules laid out for such visas and this is intended to address the human trafficking, rights violation and prostitution etc. So I dont want to take the article at it's face value. There is a reason for every rule that is out there.
Posted by:ram - 23 Nov, 2011