In Austria, an Indian refugee buys and renovates the home that had taken him in as a teenager

Sukhdeep Singh, who left her native India at the age of 17, in 2003, stands in front of the hostel that welcomed him upon his arrival in Austria, near Vienna, on January 22, 2021. & nbsp;
Sukhdeep Singh, who left his native India at the age of 17, in 2003, stands in front of the hostel that welcomed him upon his arrival in Austria, near Vienna, on January 22, 2021. (ALEX HALADA / AFP)

Sukhdeep Singh, an Indian refugee, in his thirties now well established in Austria, wants to somehow reciprocate. In 2003, he left his native India at the age of 17 and set out on his own on a long and difficult journey that would take him to Austria. The teenager then arrives in a foster home in Hirtenberg, south of Vienna. He lived there for six years with around fifty unaccompanied minors from all over the world. These six years were sometimes difficult but allowed him to learn the Austrian language and culture, thanks to the efforts of the social workers and teachers he frequented there. Sukhdeep will eventually manage to integrate the Austrian school system until obtaining a university degree.

Now in his thirties, project manager and father of three, he did not hesitate to buy this building in order, he says, to keep its spirit. After the renovation of the building, he wants to reserve part of the accommodation for refugees. Most of the 16 apartments will be rented at market price to allow him to repay the loan he has taken out for this buyout. But a part will indeed be dedicated to precarious people including refugees. They will pay what they can in rent. Obviously for Sukhdeep Singh: I want to support people in need because I myself have been in this situation. And I want to show them that they can get away with it even when a country doesn’t give them every chance. “

This is very important to me and I hope the country will look at this and the integration system will improve so that people have a real chance.

Sukhdeep Singh

to franceinfo

Part of the building is already inhabited, but the work should be completely finished by the end of May. For Sukhdeep Singh, this is a way of carrying on the legacy of her mentor, an Austrian Jewish actor. Otto Tausig, now deceased, partially funded this home to accommodate exiles. He who had to flee the Nazis in his youth dedicated part of his life to the refugees.

Otto Tausig sponsored the studies of Sukhdeep Singh and it is his legacy that he wants to carry on. “He helped all men, no matter what their religion. He taught me to be aware of what we have, what life has given us and to give to others, confides the thirty-something. I followed that principle and in turn began to help people by giving what I could. ”

Sukhdeep Singh has chosen to keep the name given to this home by Otto Tausig, that of his grandmother, Laura Gatner, who died like millions of others in Nazi camps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *