It is been almost three years since Burmese settlement has taken refuge in Hyderabad. They are struggling hard to get a livelihood, and essential basic amenities. The lynching and gory of Rohingya Muslims by Budhists, is already known to the world. After the communal violence grew up in Burma, many Muslims were killed in masses and made to leave the country. They were denied food, medical, education and other basic amenities. Budhists have ceased to consider them as citizens of their country. Though they have been settled in Burma since decades and ages, yet they are separated from the country. Hence, when the violence grew up they had to flee from their own country to various other countries.
A major chunk of people who lost their houses, family members and livelihood shifted to different parts of India ( majorly in Hyderabad in the Barkas area to take refuge ). “We left our country for freedom. We were not allowed to practice our religion, pray at mosque or even educate our children. I am happy that I can practice my religion here in India without any fear of being killed.” Says Sultan Mohammed aged 60. He talks firmly and introduces his handicapped son and half of his family; others got killed in the massacre.
The refugees settled have been residing in the outskirts of the old city. They have five camps in Balapur. Two of these camps are rent free given by locals whereas other are paid slums in which people live in darn conditions. “We pay rupees thousand for a month for this shed, we do not have electricity and water only comes for 15 minutes. We only have two toilets” says Mohammed Noor who represents camp 2, where 45 families reside.
Most of the people who have language barriers are facing difficulty in finding jobs. The men do odd jobs like scrap collection, construction work and as a security personnel for their livelihood. Tufail Ahmed, who looks quiet younger than his age (35), says “Locals do not give us job; I work as a construction labour for about 15 days in a month. Sometimes they pay me less than other labourers or do not pay me at all. I have to accept all their terms and conditions if not how will I buy food for my children?”
Widows are in large numbers across the camps. Some of them have remarried in their own community to start a new life. They are strictly warned by the police not to marry the local people. They only have limited options in there ghetto or to lead a lonely devastated life. “My husband was chopped in Myanmar in front of my eyes. They also cut my daughter’s stomach. She cannot walk straight now and she has lost her voice after the incident. With lot of difficulty I have reached here and I am struggling to feed my three children.” Says Rani Begum with her broken Hindi, in her arms all her children play around. She cleans utensils and washes clothes in nearby houses to earn for her family.
The children in the camp go to nearby Government School. Most of the families send their children to school. They are adapting to the language spoken here. Sana Khatoon, 10 year old and study in 2nd standard has an innocent smile and determination for what she wants to become, ”I want to become a doctor and help all the diseased ones here.” Rafiq Mohammed who is handicapped by the riot faces physical inability to go out and work. He and his family depend on his younger brother who works as a construction wage earner. “At times when my brother doesn’t get work, we have to beg other people from the community for rice and Dal, which is the reason I have given my 4 years son to a local family in Sayedabad area who is taking care and sending my son to school.”
Hyderabad-based Confederation of Voluntary Organisations (COVA), an NGO at the forefront of Rohingya rehabilitation and many asylum seekers, have registered with them so far and many more are likely to come. COVA monitors the refugees in getting them UNHCR card. They also coordinate with the police to give them records about the refugees.The card comes in slots after the interview has taken place and it has validity of two years. “We are interviewed at the UNHCR office for the refugee card, they ask us various question about our country to check if we actually belong from there.” Said Mohammed Rafiq.
Let Us Hope That The Last Light Humanity Survives..!!