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Rohingya Refugees facing dreadful conditions in India

Munawar Zaman
Press TV, New Delhi

The violence in Myanmar was not enough for us, says the desperate women upon our arrival. She says we are calling God in every possible way but looks like our prayers are not being heard. She has many complaints, yet she can talk about the basic ones.

After fleeing war ravaged Myanmar and what the UN described as ethnic cleansing, they are now trying to rebuild their shattered lives in different parts of India. But in India they are sometimes called termite, sometimes illegal immigrants, and a threat to national security which activists describe as vague claims. Apparently they are also accused of illegal activities, but these claims were not reflected in the recently released National Crime Records Bureau Analysis.

Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam which means the world is one family sounds like an encouraging phrase. But a look at the living conditions of these refugees leads one to ask whether the world has abandoned its responsibility toward them.

Rohingya refugees are struggling to survive in the world's largest democracy with enormous quantities of effort. Over the last few years, the community is in utter distress, sometimes detentions in mid night raids, sometimes their camps being mysteriously burnt down. Regardless of the refugee crises across the world, this particular community continues to be unseen victims of violence. This man says he was recently picked up by an unknown vehicle and sedated following which he had to lodge a police complaint.

Official estimates suggest more than 40,000 Rohingya Muslims have sought refuge in India after a brutal crackdown against their community in Myanmar. Many refugees say they felt safe in India since they arrived but over the last few years a vicious campaign against their expulsion is haunting the community.

The UN refugee agency responsible to support these people in India is of least help they say. Activists say the most urgent need for these refugees is food, water, health services rather than a deliberate attempt to target and deport them despite the fact they face threat to life, back in Myanmar.

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