Rohingya in city yearn to return to homeland

A scene inside a refugee camps of Rohingya Muslims in Hyderabad.

A scene inside a refugee camps of Rohingya Muslims in Hyderabad.   | Photo Credit: G_RAMAKRISHNA


Oblivious of the CAB row, the refugees say they want their Myanmar nationality back

The Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), which was passed in Lok Sabha on Monday, caused an uproar across the country. As per reports, during the debate over the Bill, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that Rohingya will never be accepted as citizens of India. However, Rohingya living in refugee camps located in Balapur, Hyderabad, said they are oblivious of the statement about them.

Rather, sitting in their camps, the refugees were closely tracking developments about Aung San Suu Kyi’s appearance at UN International Court of Justice on Tuesday to defend Myanmar against accusations of genocide. She is due to speak on Wednesday. The Rohingya in the city said that they are in India for survival and not to settle down here.“We want our Myanmar nationality back. We are thankful to the Indian government for providing us with shelter in times of crisis,” said Noor Alam, one of the Rohingya who has been living in a refugee camp at Balapur from 2012.

Treacherous journey

Recalling the 15 days’ long treacherous journey he took along with his family seven years ago, Mr Alam said that they travelled through knee-deep water, jungles, and finally reached Hyderabad. “We were given a Refugee card and asked to conduct ourselves,” he said, adding that there are many more from the country who live in camps alongside the lake.

As one walks or drives through bylanes of Balapur, the refugee camps are easy to spot as most of them are closely packed shanties covered with tarpaulin sheets. While some of them have been living in the camps since seven years, some arrived three to four years ago. One of the refugees Amir Faisal said that they rely on labour work to eke out livelihood.

Md Jameel, another refugee living in Camp-1, which was the first one to be established in the locality in 2012, said that they gather news related to them through television in one of the camps. Else, they rely on mobile phones.

“I want to go back to Myanmar where we left our lands, business. Even a bird which ventures out returns to its nest by evening. Why were we necked out of our country?” questioned Mr Jameel.

Close to 62 families, or around 250 people, live in Camp-1 alone. Other refugees gathered around to narrate their poor standards of life now compared to their life in Myanmar seven years ago. They hold refugee cards issued by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR — The United Nations Refugee Agency).

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 8:32:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/rohingya-in-city-yearn-to-return-to-homeland/article30270303.ece

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