Environment & Urbanization

World leading environmental and urban studies journal

Urban refugees in Delhi: refugee networks, faith and well-being

Anubhav Dutt Tiwari, Jessica Field, Yamini Mookherjee

International Institute for Environment and Development



This paper explores the faith context of displacement and settlement for the Sikh and Christian Afghan refugees and Muslim Rohingya refugees in Delhi. It examines the foundation of community faith-based organizations (FBOs) and secular humanitarian initiatives that have emerged from within the refugee communities, and explores wider refugee interactions with local faith communities (LFCs) and other FBOs. The paper shows that faith and faith-based practices are essential aspects of daily life for refugees in Delhi that contribute to their sense of well-being in the city, and that refugees’ own faith-based communities and organisations and humanitarian initiatives often provide essential safety nets when government and NGO services are lacking. However, as this paper reveals, the presence and services of these community structures should not be taken as a “silver bullet” solution for humanitarian organizations that are concerned with supporting refugee wellbeing more holistically in India.


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