Image courtesy muslimacademy
By News Desk | Srinagar
Hundreds of Muslim Burmese families in Jammu are living in miserable condition while the authorities allegedly are just doing lip-service to take these refugees out from the chaos and poverty. Dozens of families from Burma said that they are living from hand to mouth while their children are spending days in slums instead of schools.
“There are more than 1000 families living in various areas of Jammu like Chhani, Bhatindi, Talab Tillo and Narwal. Their condition is miserable and all lack basic facilities. We were forced to leave Burma on account of communal violence there,” M V Younis, a Burmese refugee told a news agency (CNS) adding that the state government is doing nothing for them.
He said that the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) issues electronic identity proof card to them with a validity of 4 years and is renewed before its expiry. “It is this card which helps us to stay here. No doubt we have get a place to live in but we are living a wretched life,” he said.
Another refugee Mohammad Hamzah said that Jammu and Kashmir Sakhawat Centre, a non-governmental organization is trying hard to provide education to our children but due to lack of income and facilities our children spend days in slums instead of educational institutes.
“We do petty jobs to meet our both ends. Our children and women have been suffering a lot. No one is coming forward for our help, even we had approached the government and some religious organizations but all cares a fig for them,” Hamzah said.
When asked why they don’t stay in Kashmir, Suliman Ahmed said that his family came to Jammu recently while his friends and relatives were already present in Jammu. “Our friends and relatives are living in scattered form in Jammu while no one from Burma lives in Kashmir,” he said adding that his relatives migrated to India during massive political unrest in late eighties.
He said there are many other Burmese families living in slums at Kasim Nagar, Narwal, Malik Market, Bawe, Panama Chowk, Chhanni, Nanak Nagar, Bohri and Bari Brahmana and “no help of any kind has been provided to us by the state government so far.”
A district official said that government is doing a lot for their welfare. “We are chalking out a plan for them and surely their grievances will be redressed,” he said.