“No one puts their children in a boat
Unless water is safer than land…”
– Warsan Shire
Who are refugees?
What is the difference between an immigrant, an exiled person and a refugee?
Do countries have a responsibility to accept and rehabilitate refugees?
The residential students pondered over these questions and more over a session conducted for them this Sunday. The students articulated their opinions about refugees by penning down their thoughts graphically and then went on to respond to some thought-provoking images and articles from the media, including the viral photo of the three year old Syrian refugee Aylan Kurdi.
Readings of emotionally raw and intense poems such as ‘Refugee Blues’ by W.H. Auden and ‘Home’ by Warsan Shire, powered the discussion the students had on the rights of refugees and helped problematize some of the burning questions they had on the legality of their status and the dangerous nature of their life on the margins. The session helped hone the students’ critical thinking skills as each student played the ‘devil’s advocate’ and got the opportunity to take their own stance on the subject through a thought experiment in which each one assumed the role of a country or a homeowner and had to make decisions about accepting and rehabilitating refugees.