(Rohingya refugees on Saturday, 25 August marked the anniversary of a deadly military crackdown in their Myanmar homeland that drove 700,000 of the persecuted minority into Bangladesh, stateless and confronting a grim future. This story – which was first published on 13 November 2017 – is being republished from The Quint’s archives to mark what they are calling “black day”.)
Almost 6,00,000 Rohingya men, women and children have fled to Bangladesh since 25 August this year, in a desperate bid to escape the spate of violent attacks in Myanmar.
In a report, titled ‘Outcast and Desperate’, the United Nation Children’s Fund stated that over 3,40,000 Rohingya children live in squalid conditions in the refugee camps of Bangladesh. Up to 12,000 new children join the camp every week, the report states.
The violent displacement takes a toll on children, and for several, the future is full of uncertainty. The children live in conditions where they are denied adequate nutrition, health care, clean water and access to education.
Ahead of Children’s Day, 14 November, The Quint met some of the Rohingya children who live in the refugee camps of Kalindi Kunj in Delhi. Most of these children came to India from Bangladesh in 2012. Here’s what they have to say about the conflict that has torn their lives apart.
We came from Burma in 2012. I was about five, younger than my little brother. We had a nice house in Burma. In my free time, I like to watch Salman Khan movies. The last film I watched him in was ‘Sultan’. I liked how he wrestled in the movie.Saaqib, 9, Rohingya Muslim refugee
Military men burnt down our homes. I saw it with my own eyes.Ajida, 9, Rohingya Muslim refugee
I was 10 when I came to India. I broke my sandals and crossed the border barefoot. In Myanmar, we weren’t even allowed to study. I want to stay in India because people are nice here.Mohammed Rahim, 14 Rohingya Muslim refugee
Cameraperson: Athar Rather
Video Editor: Puneet Bhatia