The virtual BMI session conducted on 30th September 2020, was graced by the presence of Ms. Sindhuja Sankaran, faculty of Social Psychology and founder of Rethinking Refugees-Knowledge & Action, wherein she delivered informative insights on the application of social psychology in understanding the social problem of the situation of refugees.
The speaker highlighted the situation of refugees as a humanitarian crisis, with a dual perspective. On one hand, expressing what refugees experience when they leave their country fleeing war and persecution, and on the other, the host country citizens’ impression and acceptance of refugees. Invalidating the concept of dehumanization, which is treating people as if they are less than fully human, she urges to start humanizing the idea of refugees, elaborating on media and photography as the perpetrators of dehumanization. The session was concluded stating that, the key to refugee humanization is to talk to them as a fellow peer, a friend, a family member, be it about music, food, or friends. The more one normalizes a conversation, the more we start seeing refugees beyond their label.
“Today’s BMI session by Dr. Sindhuja Sankaran was an insight into the world of refugees. Many fail to believe that one person can change the world, but she is a testimonial to what one person can achieve and how one person can change their world for many. Sindhuja ma’am truly is a glimpse of what I aspire to become as a human being.”
– Jawahar Jayakumar, F20 Batch
“During the lecture, Dr. Sankaran managed to shine light on the plight of refugees and helped us understand the various issues faced by them, particularly on a psychological perspective. It was surprising for many of us to learn about the biased media narratives in Europe about refugees and their political implications. Overall, it was a very informative and thought-provoking session for all of us.”
– Ayyappan P, F20 Batch
“The session was very insightful to me personally. I had some knowledge about this situation, but still it was only from one perspective. Now I know better, the plight of the refugees and I am inspired to help them reach their dreams and goals which were shattered due to the conditions in their motherland. I thank BMI for organizing this talk and looking forward to associate with Dr. Sindhuja Sankaran in future.”
– Cyril M Jose, F20 Batch