‘No Air to Breathe‘ is the story of Salil, a Sikh boy forced to leave Afghanistan following the kidnap of his brother. It will be shown the week of November 5th 2018 to young people in Doncaster to raise awareness about asylum-seeking children coming to the UK.
The film made with young people from McAuley Catholic High School, Doncaster in collaboration with Madaan Media, explores Salil’s story in a series of flashbacks. We hear how Afghanistan’s once thriving Sikh community is facing extinction and how many Sikhs have fled into exile.
“We have lived with years of harassment and threats because of our religious beliefs,” says Salil. “My mother and sister were frequently spat on because they did not wear the burkha. As Sikh children, we were not allowed to go to any government-run schools.”
The past three decades have seen a population of 100,000 Sikhs dwindle to around 2,000 in Afghanistan. Harassment, kidnapping and death threats have sent many Sikhs into exile.
It was when Salil’s younger brother was kidnapped that Salil’s parents believed the family had to flee.
“We had no choice,” says Salil. “There was no life for us in Afghanistan. We knew the journey was going to be dangerous. But what could we do?”
The film will be shown from November 5-9 2018 at McAuley Catholic High School, Doncaster. The Red Cross and The Refugee Council will be joining us to speak about their work with asylum seekers and refugees.
Camera/Editor: Raj Madaan
Producer: Dean Northedge
Illustrator: Isobel Robson