My crime was – I am a Hindu!

via Dilip Amin, Ph. D - published on August 28, 2011

Laxmi* is a young, beautiful and intelligent lady, but she experiences depression many times. She is questioning why she has to migrate to the USA and face all hardships in life. She feels pain for her past and current situation. She does not have any hope for her life but wish her children will have a better life.
Laxmi was born in Bhutan. In her childhood, her family was forced to migrate to Nepal. The main reason they were kicked out of their own country was – they are Hindus!!! She spent 22 years in a make-shift tent in a camp along with thousands of other refugees. Their presence was a burden to the host country but no other country, including India, was willing to accept these Hindus. Finally, under UN efforts, recently Laxmi arrived to New Jersey along with 60 other Bhutanese refugee families.
In refugees’ camp in Nepal, Laxmi managed to get a BA degree and also learned English. However in the USA, she could find only a labor job. The US government took care of their rent for first 6 months, but now they are on their own living in a poor neighbourhood. Her father, in only forties, is willing to work hard but do not know English. Further, he is gradually loosing his eye sight due to untreated severe blood pressure while in refugees’ camp. Her family is certainly with limited means and in a state of confusion in their new homeland. However, they are thankful to a few Hindu volunteers who managed to get them some basic needs. Laxmi is also thankful to Mira who is guiding her to go for further education and giving her some hopes for life.
*Name is altered for privacy.
How I met Laxmi?  It was a time for me to move from New Jersey to San Francisco for a new job. My huge house was on sale. I realized that I am suffering from American excesses!! My garage was full with give-away cloths, appliances and toys, but I don’t know where to dump them. I checked with local cloth drops but realized that some of them are remotely linked to churches. Many friends recommended major non-religious organizations that will come and pick up cloths from my home, simple. When I inquired, I learned that some of them simply sell cloths in bulk and use the cash for their causes. When I search in Google for “Hindu cloth donation,” I got many Catholic Churches hits!! I was determined to make sure my cloths don’t end up ultimately proselytizing innocent Hindus. Finally a friend mentioned about the Bhutanese refugees.
It was a day before my flight to San Francisco and had a big to-do list. Still the cloths are sitting in my garage. Should I just dump these clothes at some volunteer’s home and increase their work? Finally my guilt feeling compelled me to drive a long way and hand deliver those give-away to needy end-users. I was touched by these Bhutanese’s hospitality and welcome. I was sad to see their condition and felt pain to hear of their 22 years of past ordeal. I hope I made a small difference in their condition. If nothing else, I realized that I am one of the most blessed people in this World. I told my wife that I don’t have time left to visit a temple before my move, but glad to meet the God in person.
How can YOU help? If you bother to read this far, means you care for needy in this World. These Bhutanese families could use your help in many respects. If you wish to donate cloths, please wash, fold, box and deliver to one of volunteers. These refugees could use your used furniture, utensils, crib, stroller, toys, children books, pressure cooker and more. If your time permits, spend an evening with them, teach them computer or drive them to a temple. If you are a physician, they need medical attention. If you wish to go further, you may adapt a family.
If you wish to help, please contact Dr. Tulsi Maharjan (908-369-4318;[email protected]) or Arun Joshi (732-820-0170; [email protected]).
About the author: Dilip Amin, Ph. D. is providing free consultation to young adults involved in an interfaith relationship at
If you cannot walk two steps with these needy Bhutanese Hindus, can you at least forward this to your friends to help these innocent Hindus victims?

Hari Om!

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