Jalandhar Youth Stranded in Armenia: A Tale of Struggle and Desperation

by Antariksh Singh

In a heartbreaking saga of hope and despair, Ajay, a 23-year-old from Sangatpur village, finds himself trapped in a jail cell in Armenia. His plight, along with that of 11 other Indians, came to light last month when their families sought help from Rajya Sabha MP Balbir Singh Seechewal.

While most of the detainees have been released, Ajay remains incarcerated, now for over four months. His brother, Baljinder Singh, laments their inability to secure his freedom due to financial constraints. “We need Rs 1 lakh to hire a lawyer in Armenia. Our entire family depends on the mercy of relatives,” Baljinder shared, his voice tinged with desperation.

Ajay’s journey to Armenia was born from a desire to lift his family out of poverty. The family scraped together Rs 3 lakh, taking loans to fund his venture abroad. For Surjit Singh, Ajay’s father, the news of his son’s arrest was a devastating blow, complicating their already precarious financial situation.

The events leading to Ajay’s incarceration paint a picture of struggle and survival. Reportedly attempting an illegal border crossing between Armenia and Georgia earlier this year, Ajay and his companions fell into the hands of Armenian authorities.

The Singh family’s narrative is not unfamiliar in Sangatpur. Surjit Singh toils as a farm laborer, barely making ends meet, while Baljinder, 24, supplements their income through daily wage labor. In 2018, Baljinder sought opportunities in Dubai, working as a mason for a year in hopes of easing their financial burdens. However, the promise of steady work abroad proved elusive, forcing his return home.

“We sacrificed our education to support our family,” Baljinder reflected, capturing the essence of their struggle. “Now, we are fighting to bring Ajay home.”

As Sangatpur watches and waits, their hopes rest on the kindness of friends, relatives, and the ongoing efforts of MP Balbir Singh Seechewal. The story of Ajay and his fellow detainees serves as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by many Indian youths seeking better prospects abroad, often with limited resources and support.

For now, as the sun sets over Shahkot, the Singh family’s fervent prayers echo, hoping for a resolution that will reunite them with their son and brother, Ajay.

Antariksh Singh

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